In Canada, more than 3,000 babies die each year in their mother’s womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In many cases, the mother will have experienced a decrease in her baby’s movements in the preceding days. It is estimated that up to 30% of these babies could be saved. Don’t let their cries go silent.
Little Judith’s Story
When she was in her mother’s womb, Little Judith was doing kickboxing, that much was obvious! She was full of energy, was moving frequently and was kicking hard. The whole family was awaiting her arrival with anticipation, including her 3 year old brother.
At 37 weeks of pregnancy, contractions appeared and disappeared within a few hours. Following this, her mother started noticing that her kickboxing baby was moving less frequently and kicking less hard. Though slightly worried, mom decided to wait a few days to speak with her doctor during her routine appointment. The doctor listened to a few heartbeats and told her it was normal to feel the baby move less towards the end of pregnancy (which is false). Reassured, mom returned home.
Two days later, mom could no longer feel her baby move. While dad was trying to reassure her, they made their way to the hospital’s maternity unit, but it was already too late: Little Judith’s heart had stopped beating. The next day, mom delivered a baby girl, stillborn at 38 weeks of pregnancy. The day after, she tried to explain to big brother why his baby sister did not come home with mom and dad.
The autopsy report will reveal that Little Judith was healthy and that she died from asphyxia. The lack of oxygen was caused by an inflammation of the umbilical cord due to a Group B Strep infection of the placenta . Mom now knows that if she would have gone to the hospital a week sooner, Little Judith would probably be alive today.
Please visit Group B Strep International to learn more about Group B Strep, https://groupbstrepinternational.org/
Nadine Belzile holds a Master’s Degree in anthropology and worked for 15 years as a research and public policy analyst for the Government of Canada. On September 18, 2012, at 38 weeks of pregnancy, she gave birth to her 2nd child, Judith, a stillborn daughter. To prevent other babies from dying without reason and so that other parents will not have to suffer the consequences of grieving for their baby, she created BabyKicks.ca in 2019.
In 2022, she co-founded the Canadian Collaborative for Stillbirth Prevention (www.cc4sp.ca) to ask the Government of Canada to implement a national action plan to reduce stillbirths, including a national awareness campaign to inform pregnant women of the significance of their baby's movements during the third trimester.
BabyKicks.ca’s mission is to inform parents and health care professionals about the importance of a baby’s movements during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy in the hopes of reducing the number of stillbirths in Canada.
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