Haunting 'Roma' scene shines a rare spotlight on stillbirths

February 22, 2019 - 10:31 am

A small but haunting scene in the Oscar-nominated film "Roma" puts a rare spotlight on stillbirths.

Nearly half a century after the film's setting, stillbirths are still surprisingly common, poorly understood and an often avoided topic. But scientists are finding new clues to their causes. And with awareness campaigns and social media, advocates and parents are seeking to bring them out of the shadows.

Global rates have declined but there are still nearly 3 million each year, about 24,000 in the United States. The U.S. rate is 6 in 1,000 births and hasn't budged in over a decade.

According to recent research, risks may increase in hot weather and warning signs may include reduced or excessive fetal movement and a woman's "gut instinct" that something is wrong.