Miscarriage, also called spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss, refers to the natural death of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. It is an unexpected fact that miscarriages are becoming more common among pregnant women. According to a trusted source, approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage globally. In the United States only, every year, there are about 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies and nearly 1 million of them end in pregnancy losses. Researchers have shown that most miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities that are out of a mom’s control, but there are still ways to reduce the risk of a miscarriage. Below is a list of simple steps which can help control your risks and improve your pregnant health.
- Washing your hands
Miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death sometimes happen when the mother is infected with certain diseases. Hand washing is considered to be the most effective way to prevent the viral or bacterial infections. Surprisingly, hand washing is also known to prevent common colds. Each pregnant woman are suggested to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds by soap and warm water before and after daily meal, restroom use. Don’t forget to wash hands after touching animals or being around a patient.
- Avoid smoking, and alcohol
Smoking and the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy may increase the risk for miscarriage, stillborn baby, preterm delivery, or low birth weight infant. According to some studies, infants born to women who smoke may suffer from higher risk of developing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). That’s why in many countries, women are advised to avoid the use of tobacco and alcohol when they are expecting.
- Healthy diets
Research has found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy products, and protein sources can help mothers reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Another study conducted by Stanford University pointed out that women were 50% less likely to give birth to a baby with anencephaly while eating such a diet. So, if you want to protect both your baby and you from pregnancy complications, eat a nutritious and healthy diet before and during your pregnancy.
- Taking medications
Common health problems such as lupus, diabetes, and high blood pressure are other possible risk factors of pregnancy loss. If you are suffering from one of them, remember to ask your doctor for recommendations on how to reduce their negative effects on your baby to the minimum. Make sure that you follow your doctor’s guide on the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Take a prenatal multivitamin that contains iron and folic acid before you become pregnant. Iron and folic acid are extremely important in preventing neural tube defects in your baby in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Safe sex
Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or syphilis are considered as possible causes of miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Thus, you are recommended to practice safe sex during pregnancy if you or your partner has multiple partners.