Zach’s Story

Shawn experienced the loss of her son, Zachary, while in labor. She now encourages other expectant moms to be aware of their baby’s movement and discuss any concerns with their doctor.

Zach swaddled in a blanket

When I was 38 weeks pregnant, my son, Zachary, was stillborn. Two days before Zach’s death, I noticed a decrease in his movements. My intuition told me something wasn’t right, so I called my doctor. Zach died of an undiagnosed placental abruption, which is when the placenta suddenly detaches from the uterine wall before the baby is born. His death may have been prevented had I known about the importance of monitoring my son’s movements during the third trimester. Zachary was our second child and I was never told in either of my pregnancies about the importance of paying attention to my baby’s movements in the third trimester to help reduce the risk of stillbirth.

I am now an ambassador for an organization dedicated to the prevention of stillbirth and infant death through education, advocacy, and support. For the rest of my life I will never forget what it felt like to leave the hospital without Zach in my arms. Because of this I am dedicated to helping prevent other families from experiencing the devastating tragedy of stillbirth.

CDC would like to thank Shawn for sharing her family’s story.