Preventing Miscarriage

No matter how careful, healthy or lucky a newly pregnant woman may be, there's no promise she will in fact have a baby. The National Institutes of Health say that up to half of all pregnancies fail, most of the time before a woman knows she's pregnant.

Why does it happen?

In most cases, there's no clear answer.

Are they preventable?

  • Most miscarriages are not preventable.
  • Through no fault of the mother or father, a new embryo may have:
    • Chromosomes that aren't formed well
    • Missing chromosomes
  • Extra copies of chromosomes
    • Women have built-in "quality-control" measures that most often stop them from being pregnant by pushing the embryo out

How can you lower your chances?

Simple, healthy choices and good care can be a big help.

  • Cigarettes, alcohol and street drugs
    • Use of and even being near these substances can raise the chance of failed pregnancy and other problems.
    • Quit using these substances if you are pregnant or are even thinking about getting pregnant.
  • Too much caffeine
    • Studies have found that five or more cups of coffee a day double the chance of failed pregnancy .
    • The link between caffeine and miscarriages is still being looked at.
    • Many pregnant women enjoy a cup of coffee every now and then without any clear problems.
  • Not all painkillers are the same.
    • Studies suggest that taking aspirin, ibuprofen or other over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers while pregnant can raise the chance of a failed pregnancy by 80 percent.
    • Acetaminophen may be ok for most pregnant women, but you should always check with your doctor before taking any drug.

See your doctor

  • A full exam can help your doctor find things that might lead to failed pregnancy , including:
    • Lupus (an illness where the body's immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue)
    • Congenital heart disease or other heart problem
    • Kidney disease
    • Uncontrolled diabetes (high blood sugar)
    • Thyroid disease
    • Infections of the uterus/womb

In many cases, treating these illnesses can greatly raise your chance for a healthy pregnancy.

Past miscarriages

  • The March of Dimes says that most women who suffer a miscarriage have healthy pregnancies later on.
  • If you've had more than one miscarriage, extra tests may be needed to get to the bottom of the problem.
    • You may not be making the amount of progesterone you need, which may be fixed by taking prescribed supplements.
    • You may also have fibroids or an unusually shaped uterus, which can often be corrected with surgery.

Know your body

  • All pregnant women should watch for signs of failed pregnancy or premature birth. You should call your doctor if you notice:
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding at any point while pregnant
  • Minor bleeding (this may not be a sign that you're losing the baby, but only your doctor can say for sure)

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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