Having a baby should be one of the most joyous times in your life. However, for some women, it ends up being a terrible time due to a stillbirth. This can happen when a baby dies in the womb or during delivery. While there are varying causes for a child to die in the womb or during delivery, many of them are preventable, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Usually proper prenatal care can discover issues that may lead to a stillbirth and allow a doctor to manage the conditions to prevent the death of your baby. There is also a chance that doctor error could lead to a baby dying in the womb or during delivery.

The most common causes of stillbirth include infections, birth defects, placental problems and growth issues. A baby could die if the placenta is not providing enough nutrients or if the baby is not growing properly and is unable to get enough oxygen. A bacterial infection can easily get into the uterus and infect the baby without treatment. Birth defects may cause up to 20% of all stillbirths.

Other causes may include allowing you to go past your due date longer than 42 weeks. The umbilical cord wrapping around the child’s neck is another possible cause. If you have health issues that the doctor is not monitoring, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, these also could impact the viability of your baby.

To prevent a stillbirth, your doctor should monitor you carefully if you have any risk factors. You can also monitor the baby’s movements and watch for any sudden reduction.