They trusted their prenatal test. They didn’t know the industry is an unregulated ‘Wild West.’

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Amanda wanted to warn someone. In June 2021, her daughter — the one she and her husband had tried for three years to conceive — had died after only 28 hours. With an underdeveloped nose, she had battled for every breath.

Her child was stillborn at 39 weeks. She blames a system that doesn’t always listen to mothers.

The day before doctors had scheduled Amanda Duffy to give birth, the baby jolted her awake with a kick.

A few hours later, on that bright Sunday in November 2014, she leaned back on a park bench to watch her 19-month-old son Rogen enjoy his final day of being an only child. In that moment of calm, she realized that the kick that morning was the last time she had felt the baby move.

She told herself not to worry. She had heard that babies can slow down toward the end of a pregnancy and remembered reading that sugary snacks and cold fluids can stimulate a baby’s movement. When she got back to the family’s home in suburban Minneapolis, she drank a large glass of ice water and grabbed a few Tootsie Rolls off the kitchen counter.