Neonatal Death Syndrome

Neonatal death (NND) is when a baby is born alive at 20 weeks or later of the pregnancy and dies before it is 28 days old. Each state may have their own definition of NND.


Often the cause of NND is never known. Some causes may include:

  • Prematurity.

  • Abnormalities present at birth (congenital).

  • Infections.

  • Crib death.


  • Medical problems of the mother (diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions).

  • Bad life style of the mother (illegal drugs, alcohol, or smoking).

  • Multiple pregnancies (twins or more).


A total evaluation of the infant will be done. This includes autopsy, a study of the placenta, blood tests, X-rays, cultures for infection, and chromosome studies of the infant and parents. These tests and evaluations are very important in finding out what may have caused the NND. The evaluation may lower the possibility of it happening with future pregnancies.


  • Eliminate any of the risk factors, if possible, that were found after evaluating the infant.

  • Control any medical problems you may have before and during pregnancy.

  • Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol, and smoking.

  • If you become pregnant again, maintain good prenatal care and follow your caregiver's treatment and advice. Report any concerns or unusual changes during your pregnancy.