Author(s): Marian F MacDorman, Elizabeth CW Gregory
Fetal death refers to the spontaneous intrauterine death of a fetus at any time during pregnancy. Fetal deaths later in pregnancy (at 20 weeks of gestation or more, or 28 weeks or more, for example) are also sometimes referred to as stillbirths. In the United States, State laws require the reporting of fetal deaths, and Federal law mandates national collection and publication of fetal death data. Most states report fetal deaths of 20 weeks of gestation or more and/or 350 grams birthweight. However, a few states report fetal deaths for all periods of gestation. Fetal death data is published annually by the National Center for Health Statistics, in reports and as individual-record data files.