Miscarriage is described as early pregnancy loss or spontaneous abortion, basically, the loss of pregnancy before the twentieth week of pregnancy. It’s more common than many people realize. According to recent findings, 1 to 2 pregnancies out of 10 end in a miscarriage, and usually in the first trimester. Some common signs to watch out for are bleeding (sometimes with or without pain), stomach cramps, abdominal pain and blood clots or spotting.
It can be a deeply distressing time for a couple, especially the woman, who feels as good as she’s lost a full blown baby and may take a while to recover fully. Find out some of the common risk factors and tips on minimizing the risks.
How old you are may influence your risk. Basically, the odds increase significantly from 35 years and above. Experts often advise conceiving between the early to mid twenties as bearing minimal risks. If you’re pregnant and above this age bracket, especially if you’re above 35, seeking quality medical advice and care before and during your pregnancy will help reduce and control the risks.
*Your Lifestyle Choices
Alcohol, smoking, drug use, drinking or inhalation of intoxicating and harmful substances as well as heavy caffeine consumption all have negative effects on pregnancies, according to research. All these should be avoided during pregnancy. If you don’t smoke, avoid secondary smoking as well, as this has been proven to be equally dangerous. Exposure to high levels of poisonous substances such as lead, contained in most paints and other household products according to WHO may also put you at risk. So, it’s important to keep off.
If a pregnant mum’s health is poor or has untreated illnesses such as diabetes, it can affect the growth of the foetus adversely. A woman needs to be in good health before she gets pregnant as the foetus needs a healthy host to thrive, so, see your doctor to get a clean bill of health before getting pregnant. If you have any health issues and you become pregnant, see a specialist immediately for close observation and monitoring. In addition, don’t postpone getting proper health care whenever you feel under the weather. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in areas of high transmission, malaria can result in miscarriage and low birth weight, especially during first and second pregnancies.
*Are You Overweight or Underweight?
Proper weight management is important for a stable pregnancy. If you’re overweight, try to lose weight before pregnancy. While pregnant, you are expected to add some weight but while keeping your weight in check, avoid starving yourself. Be properly guided!
Being underweight may also put you at risk as your body may not be able to handle the demands of a growing foetus, including supplying vital nutrients. So, whether you are over or underweight, you can use a lot of advice from your doctor.
Untreated infection(s) may fight the foetus’ chances of survival, leading to miscarriage. All infections should be treated as soon as they are diagnosed by a qualified doctor. Avoid quacks! WHO lists Listeriosis, an infection transmitted through eating contaminated food, in particular dairy products, as well as ready-to-eat meat and fish products in pregnant women as likely to lead to miscarriage, and other complications. Some STDs may be responsible as well.
Try as much as possible to protect your mind and body at all times while pregnant as severe trauma of any kind may make you more susceptible. Keep off prospective danger and maintain a positive outlook throughout your pregnancy.
*Improper Egg Implantation
If the egg does not implant in the uterus properly or there are chromosomal abnormalities; damaged egg or sperm cell, a miscarriage may be inevitable. This is totally out of the woman’s hands, and usually detected in affected couples after series of miscarriages.
On a general note, eating a balanced diet, exercising, taking your multivitamins and folic acid to boost your immune system, a healthy emotional state and staying true to your doctor’s advice really help. Note that if you’ve had several miscarriages, it’s important you plan your next pregnancy and seek medical help early, so you can be carefully monitored.