Medical Q&As

Cot death and miscarriage - recurrence risk?

I have just confirmed my fifth pregnancy with a home test kit. My worry is: I have had a cot death, nearly 5 years ago and I had a miscarriage last year. I have 2 healthy kids aged 6 and 3. I am almost afraid to believe that I may have another child.

Most parents that have experienced cot death are understandably fearful about the possibility of a recurrence. Cot death is not hereditary and any future babies in the family run a negligible risk of recurrence. Despite an enormous amount of research we still do not know the cause of cot death but taking the following steps can reduce the risk of it happening: 1. place the baby to sleep on its back. 2. avoid overheating the baby. 3. avoid smoking during pregnancy and maintain a cigarette smoke free environment for the baby after birth. You also mention your unfortunate experience of miscarriage and it is important to realise that as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies can end in miscarriage. That risk applies to each pregnancy. However, you do have two healthy children, which clearly establishes that you are capable of carrying a child to term. This fact means that you can afford to be optimistic about the outcome of this pregnancy.