Medical Q&As

Cot death - future pregnancy?

I am thirty-four-years old. Our first baby died at 17 days old. She was a cot death. We would like to have another baby late next year. My menstrual cycle was 19 days this month and 33 days last month. Will it be possible for us to conceive again when the time is right after such an emotional shock? Will my irregular cycle affect the possibility of becoming pregnant?

I sympathise with your great loss. It is truly devastating to have carried a baby to full term only for that child to die unexpectedly 17 days later. Given the enormous shock that you and your partner have suffered it is not surprising to find that your menstrual cycle has become chaotic. I expect that your menstrual cycle will revert to a more regular pattern when your grieving process has subsided but this may take some time. Sudden unexpected loss can result in an ongoing grief reaction for many months. The chaos in your menstrual cycle simply reflects the emotional upheaval you are continuing to experience. Since you have already conceived and carried a child to full term it is clear that your reproductive system functions effectively. Therefore there is no reason for assuming that you won’t be able to become pregnant in the future. I think that your plan of waiting until next year is probably very sensible. You need time and space to grieve and heal.