As a woman who has learnt she is pregnant, the first dreadful thought that comes in the mind is perhaps a miscarriage. It simply shouldn’t happen to anyone, and you’d want to do anything that ensures the same. There are, indeed, some early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage and we hope they work really well for you. But before we get there, let us first know what a miscarriage actually is.
What Is A Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is a natural event, unlike any surgical or medical abortion. Also termed as ‘Spontaneous abortion,’ miscarriage is defined as the fetus’s spontaneous loss before gaining viability (before the 20th week). A spontaneous miscarriage can cause excruciating pain, both physically and emotionally, to the mother. Loss of pregnancy after the 20th week is referred to as stillbirths.
Miscarriage is the most common form of pregnancy loss, and 50% of such occurs due to abnormalities in the genes, like extra or missing chromosomes. Age is a significant concern in deciding the risk factor. However, don’t worry, early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage can help you reduce your chances of miscarriage. Let us know about the average risk of miscarriage associated with the age of the mothers –
- There’s a 15% chance of pregnancy loss in those women under 35 years.
- The possibility of miscarriage lies between 20 and 35 % in those between 35 and 45 years old.
- The risk of pregnancy loss is 50% in those women above 45 years.
Not all spontaneous abortions are laborious, but some may experience abdominal cramps, similar to menstrual cramps. The cramps are heavy and intense for some people and light for others and are followed by vaginal bleeding and large blood clots (up to a lemon’s size).
What Week Do Most Miscarriages Occur In The First Trimester?
Sometimes, miscarriage may occur when the mother herself is unknown to her pregnancy. The estimated calculation reveals that miscarriage happens in around 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies and the probability of these happening in the first trimester (weeks 1 to 12) is 85%. Thus, the miscarriages are liable to the first trimester’s occurrence before the 12th week of pregnancy. In the second trimester (between 13 and 19 weeks), that may happen in 1 to 5% of pregnancies.
Chances of miscarriage in weeks 0 to 6
These initial(early) weeks hold the highest risk of miscarriage. A woman may be subjected to spontaneous abortion in the first week or two without even getting the slightest idea of being pregnant. For her, it may even seem like a delay in the menstrual cycle. As mentioned earlier, age has a major role to play in deciding the risk of miscarriage.
Chances of miscarriage in weeks 6 to 12
Once a pregnancy has reached six weeks and confirmed that the fetus had gained viability with a heartbeat, the risk of having miscarriage drops to 10%.
Chances of miscarriage in weeks 13 to 20
Once the pregnancy makes it to week 12, the risk of miscarriage falls to 5%. But one shouldn’t bear negligence as it doesn’t drop below that, and still, complications may arise anytime and anywhere in pregnancy.
Related Reading: 10 Common Causes Of Miscarriage
What Are The Sign And Symptoms Of Miscarriage
The most common and frequent symptoms of miscarriage are bleeding and usually cramping in the pelvis, abdomen, etc. Some women experience light bleeding or spotting in pregnancy, which may be few drops or light brown or dark red, which doesn’t signify danger.
But if you’re experiencing a bright red blood discharge, then consult your doctor immediately as this may be something what causes miscarriage. In normal pregnancies, cramping is not the main problem. It can also be perilous if the cramping is severe or more on one side of the pelvis. Thus, always follow early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage and lead a happy life.
Why Is There A Higher Risk Of Miscarriage In The First Trimester?
About 80% of the miscarriages are likely to occur in the first trimester (before week 12). The genetic abnormalities contribute to about 50% of all the first trimester miscarriages. Also, the rest might be associated with maternal age. These two possess a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.
1. Gene or chromosome abnormalities
Most pregnancies end up with miscarriage owing to the abnormal fetus development. Genetic abnormalities frequently appear in women regarded as advanced maternal age (greater than 35 years).
2. Maternal health conditions
In some cases, the health conditions of the mother may lead to spontaneous abortion. These include:
a. ) Infections
Cervix and uterine infections can be hazardous to the developing fetus in the womb and may lead to miscarriage. Other infections that may pass to the baby or placenta may hamper the fetus’s growth and end up with spontaneous abortion. These infections involve cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, listeria, rubella, and toxoplasma gondii.
b. ) Clotting disorders
In this condition, the pregnant lady’s body forms more blood clots than the average state, like lupus anticoagulant and antiphospholipid syndrome. In this case, the formation of blood clots can occur in the placenta. It may deprive the fetus of getting the proper nutrition and oxygen that are indispensable for its proper development and prevent the excreted materials from being carried away.
c. ) Anatomic disorders
It is usually associated with the defects that lie in the uterus cavity. If the woman’s uterus was not formed correctly and adequately when she was developing in her mother’s womb, she might not cope with a healthy pregnancy.
Related Reading: How To Prepare Body For Pregnancy After 30
12 Early Pregnancy Tips To Avoid Miscarriage Or Spontaneous Abortion
To reduce your chances of miscarriage, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your pregnancy is healthy. Remember, these tips only reduce the risk of having an early miscarriage, these tips cannot prevent a miscarriage from happening altogether. In some cases, having a premature end to a pregnancy is unavoidable, while in some, the risk can be reduced.
The below tips to avoid miscarriage can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
1. Maintain optimum hand hygiene
Hands are the gateway to hygiene. Your every move is associated with your hands. Ensure that you abide by the rules imposed upon you to maintain your personal hygiene and avoid a miscarriage because several infections lead to stillbirths, spontaneous abortion, or infant demise.
Set rules for yourself for washing hands –
- Before and after the intake of food
- After using washroom
- After touching the things that most people are likely to touch, such as keys, towels, door handles, bags, etc.
2. Quit smoking, drugs, and alcohol
Smoking is not only a risk factor for miscarriage, but it also invites several other diseases. It is one of the essential early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage. Drugs and alcohol can harm the developing fetus in the early weeks of pregnancy.
The risk of miscarriage goes up with each week of alcohol consumption in early pregnancy, regardless of the amount consumed, and might lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.
3. Cut on caffeine
The use of caffeine for pregnant ladies has been restricted to less than 200 or 300 milligrams per day. If you are perplexed, you must consult your obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN) to avoid any kind of perils.
4. Tips to avoid miscarriage- make prenatal care a priority
Also known as antenatal care, prenatal care provides you with medical checkups, consisting of recommendations on managing a healthy lifestyle and providing medical information. You will learn about maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition, including prenatal vitamins, which prevent potential health disorders throughout pregnancy and promote mother and child health. It may lower the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, maternal death, low birth weight, neonatal infections, etc.
5. Evaluate your medications
Do try your best to avoid any medications during pregnancy. Some medications, including Angiotensin Converting Enzymes (ACE) inhibitors (examples– Captopril, Ramipril, Benazepril, etc.) It may cause blood disorders and gray baby syndrome. Sulfonamides may cause jaundice in infants. All these drugs may increase the risk of miscarriage. Thus, you should be under the constant supervision of your OBGYN and go for suggested vitamins to prevent a miscarriage.
6. Eat a well-balanced healthy prenatal diet
Don’t solely rely on prenatal vitamins that you are taking. A healthy prenatal diet not only improves your health but also reduce the risk of early miscarriage. People ask generally, “Can folic acid prevent miscarriage?”
Eat plenty of fruits and diets to procure vitamins and minerals, and fibers that help improve your digestion and prevent constipation. Intake of a nutritious diet during pregnancy will lead to good brain development and healthy birth weight. It will prevent miscarriage in first trimester and birth defects. Also, this will reduce the risk of anemia (lack of RBCs in the blood).
7. Exercise in moderation
You can practice moderate exercise during pregnancy with your doctor’s approval and recommendation. Practicing moderate exercise has been found to impede the risk of pregnancy loss.
Simple morning yoga is one of the most effective early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage. But one must avoid strenuous or vigorous exercise like jogging, playing racket, jumping, etc., which might annex the chances of pregnancy termination.
Exercise reduces stress, relieves pain and aches, lowers your gestational diabetes risk, and even piles up stamina for labor.
Related Reading: 8 Workouts To Avoid During Pregnancy
8. Take folic acid
Before one intends to become pregnant, they must start intake of folic acid. But that shouldn’t exceed the limit. Intake of supplements which consist of 400 mg folic acid before and during early pregnancy can kick out the risk for having a baby with a Neural Tube Defect (NTD).
9. Maintain a healthy weight
Studies have revealed that a 5 to 7% (10 to 20 pounds) decrement in weight can fix your overall health. Also, this adds an excellent chance for a healthy pregnancy and drop the vulnerability to miscarriage. Obese women are more liable to health related issues, which might turn out to be a spurious one for your pregnancy. So, if you are planning for a future pregnancy, then beware of your health and try to drop your weight before conceiving.
10. Practice safe sex
If you are already aware of your pregnancy, you must avoid having regular intercourse with your partner. It is a crucial point among other early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage. There are several Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) like syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Genital herpes, etc.
These are life threatening and pose a hindrance during pregnancy. These diseases might lead to loss of pregnancy. Thus, to eliminate STDs’ risk during pregnancy, you must adopt barrier techniques or methods. It may save your fetus and the mother from unwanted diseases.
11. Lower the dose of aspirin
Aspirin inhibits the cyclooxygenase enzyme’s function and thereby reduces the production of TXA2 (Trombone A2). The job of TXA2 is to stimulate the activation of new platelets and increase platelet aggregation.
Thereby, it will suppress the growth and function of platelets. Thus, it is better to avoid excess use of aspirin and aspirin containing medicament in early pregnancy as its higher dose may give birth to pregnancy loss and congenital defects.
12. Manage chronic health conditions
Chronic health conditions include asthma, autoimmune disease, epilepsy, HIV, diabetes, High blood pressure, and mental health conditions. You should consult with your health care providers to handle and improve Chronic health conditions and treatments (including medicine) before, during, and after pregnancy.
Without doctor’s prior recommendation, do not initiate or stop the intake of any prescribed medicine before, during, or after pregnancy.
In general, miscarriage is a widespread pregnancy complication and should be handled following recommendations for diagnosis. When there are subsequent miscarriages (almost two or more), one needs to follow strict medical checkups to diagnose any abnormalities that can be rectified. Also, you should avoid any type of negligence regarding your health, diet, and medications and preach almost all early pregnancy tips to avoid miscarriage.