10 Ways To Minimize Your Risk of Miscarriage

Experiencing a miscarriage is a heartbreaking event for any parent, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of one occurring. Learn about the ways to protect your pregnancy and give your baby the best chance for a healthy future.

According to the March of Dimes, 10 to 15 percent of confirmed pregnancies result in miscarriage. Some individuals who have experienced pregnancy loss may worry if they did something to cause the miscarriage or could have done anything to prevent it.

In reality, most early miscarriages are caused by genetic defects that are largely beyond the control of prospective parents. Henry Lerner, M.D., an OB-GYN at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, states, “When the chromosomes of the egg and those of the sperm fuse to make an embryo, they normally match up appropriately.” “But occasionally they become jumbled. If they are paired inappropriately, embryo development ceases.” It does not indicate a problem with the biological parents; the pregnancy is terminated because the embryo is not viable.

According to Siobhan Dolan, M.D., a medical advisor to the March of Dimes and attending physician in the Division of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center, University Hospital for Einstein, in New York City, there is typically nothing a woman can do to induce or prevent a miscarriage. “It’s a pretty difficult condition. We wish we could offer a treatment, but there are relatively few successful therapies.”

According to Erika Nichelson, D.O., a board-certified OB-GYN at the Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy may help to pave the way for a healthier pregnancy.

Here are some suggestions for potentially reducing your chance of miscarriage.

1. Be Well-Prepared

According to Stephanie Zobel, M.D., an OB-GYN at Winnie Palmer Hospital, up to 50 percent of pregnancies are unexpected, meaning that some parents are unprepared for pregnancy when it comes. Zobel says that while many women may not discover they are pregnant until a few weeks following their missing period, the fetal spinal cord and heart have already grown by that time.

So, wherever possible, preparing for a healthier pregnancy before conception is preferable. Preparation for pregnancy by adjusting nutrition and exercise, reducing stress, optimizing chronic medical conditions, and beginning prenatal supplements is recommended for all pregnancies, according to Zobel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 400 mcg of folic acid is optimal when selecting a prenatal vitamin since it may prevent significant birth problems that may cause miscarriage (CDC).

2. Make a Preconception Visit Appointment

Schedule a preconception exam with your gynecologist if you are not already pregnant. If you are due, they will review your medical history, inquire about your lifestyle, and perform an annual exam. In addition, blood samples will be taken to determine blood type, Rh factor, varicella (chicken pox), and rubella immunity. If you still haven’t, now is the time to get vaccinated against these infectious diseases. Although omitting them will not raise your risk of miscarriage, they are live viruses that cannot be administered during pregnancy.

3. Consume a Well-Rounded Diet

You may already be taking prenatal vitamins but should not view them as a panacea. According to Dr. Nichelson, consuming a balanced, healthy diet is the best way to receive the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to nurture your baby. While studies are inconclusive about the specific relationship between nutrition and miscarriage, there is some evidence that certain nutritional deficits may be linked to pregnancy loss.

4. Moderation in Exercise

You should continue your regular exercise program while pregnant; however, now is not the time to begin preparing for your first marathon. The secret lies in moderation: Some evidence suggests that a very high degree of strenuous physical exercise may be associated with early pregnancy loss. However, the specific relationship has not been conclusively established. Contact sports are also off-limits for the time being, as they could result in an injury or fall that could be detrimental to the pregnancy.

5. Limit Caffeine

Some doctors recommend pregnant women limit their caffeine consumption to no more than 200 milligrams per day, or around two 6-ounce cups of coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages, because Caffeine may be associated with miscarriage. There is no conclusive link between Caffeine and miscarriage; nonetheless, to err on the side of caution, consult your healthcare professional.

6. Avoid Drugs, Tobacco, And Alcohol

Dr. Zobel advises women who may become pregnant to minimize or eliminate alcohol use. She advises individuals who smoke or use recreational drugs to quit as well. These substances may be associated with an increased miscarriage risk. Animal studies, particularly in the first trimester, reveal a link between marijuana usage during pregnancy and miscarriage. Presently, there are no clear research in humans proving that marijuana use during pregnancy can induce miscarriage.

7. Seek Assistance for Stress Management

In addition to enhancing your mood, maintaining a state of relaxation may benefit the health of your pregnancy. An assessment of existing data published in Scientific Reports in 2017 indicated that stress might raise the incidence of miscarriage by up to 42%. Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, cautions that ordinary strain or anxiety is not associated with miscarriage. The issue arises in response to substantial stresses, such as divorce, abuse, or another loss. Talk to your doctor about helpful services, such as therapy or medication, if you are suffering a substantial amount of stress in your life.

8. Handle Diabetes and Other Chronic Disorders

According to Dr. Nichelson, high blood sugar might result in fetal deformity and subsequent miscarriage; hence diabetic pregnant women should control their condition. To optimize your health, you should consult your doctor before becoming pregnant. Dr. Zobel states that chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases must be addressed and well-controlled prior to pregnancy. Establishing care with a physician early in pregnancy is essential for women with chronic medical conditions to have a successful pregnancy.

9. Discuss Low-Dose Aspirin

Are you attempting to conceive after one or two miscarriages? Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in January 2021 indicated that low-dose “baby” aspirin might help avoid a future miscarriage. Particularly, taking one 81-milligram tablet daily while trying to conceive and during pregnancy was associated with more pregnancies, more live births, and fewer pregnancy losses among the study participants, provided they adhered strictly to the aspirin regimen. Using a blood-thinning drug may not be the ideal option for everyone attempting to conceive, so consult your doctor before incorporating this into your daily regimen.

10. Assess Your Prescriptions

Always with your OB-GYN before taking any medication (even an over-the-counter treatment) to ensure that it is safe for pregnancy. For instance, ACE inhibitors (heart drugs) can cause embryonic abnormalities and increase the risk of miscarriage. While avoiding certain medications is the safest option during pregnancy, and while attempting to conceive, the risks and benefits of others should be carefully weighed. Before making any changes to your medications, talk with your physician about whether, for instance, continuing to take mental health medications may be the best course of action for a safe pregnancy.

Prevention of Miscarriage: The Conclusion

Despite the fact that these techniques may assist in reducing your chance of miscarriage, they cannot reduce the risk related to chromosomal abnormalities. Occasionally a pregnancy is not viable, and the parents-to-be cannot prevent a miscarriage. Talk to your doctor about actions you may take if you’re trying to conceive, and if you’re struggling after a miscarriage, know that you have access to assistance and resources.

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