A prospective study was undertaken to determine whether the delivery process could introduce a significant amount of fetal cells into the maternal circulation in patients with a fetal death. Sixty-six cases of fetal death were studied over a 39-month period. All patients had both predelivery and postdelivery Kleihauer-Betke stains performed. Of these, three (46%) had a massive fetomaternal hemorrhage. None of the poskdelivery stains showed evidence of a significant fetomaternal hemorrhage unless results of the antepartum stain had also been positive. We conclude that the delivery process itself does not simulate a massive fetomaternal hemorrhage in cases of fetal death. © 1989.