Pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a condition that occurs when a pregnant woman cannot successfully carry the unborn baby in her womb till the day of delivery. The spontaneous loss of pregnancy mostly occurs before the 12th week. Because some pregnancy loss occurs very early, it is a bit difficult to pin down the statistics, but gynecologists confirmed that at least about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Some pregnancy loss can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle, and this can be before and during pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of pregnancy loss?
Signs and Symptoms of pregnancy loss might include:
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding that progress from light to heavy.
- Abdominal pain.
- Lower backache which can be from mild to severe
- Uncommon vagina discharge like fluids or tissues.
Any woman experiencing the above symptoms should please contact her healthcare provider in time because there is a possibility that the pregnancy can be saved. There have been known cases of women who have vaginal spotting or bleeding in the first trimester and they still go on to have successful pregnancies.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Pregnancy Loss?
1. Good/Bad Hand Hygiene
Infections generally can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death, and the best way to avoid contracting any of these infectious diseases, either bacterial or viral is to practice good hand hygiene and make sure your partner is disease free.
Try and practice washing your hand using soap and warm water.
- Before and after eating.
- After visiting and using the restroom
- Anytime you come close to anyone who is sick
- After handling public things like money, doorknobs, shopping carts, etc.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking has been proven over time to be a major health risk, not only to pregnant women but also include men. It affects the bronchioles of the lungs, and the nicotine content harms the brain which indirectly affects the nervous system of the unborn baby.
It also increases the possibility of having serious health issues like cancer, lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Statistics have proved that women who smoke are more likely to experience pregnancy loss, stillborn babies, preterm delivery, or low birth weight infant than women who don’t.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is also more common in women who smoke than those who don’t.
3. Be Careful in the Kitchen – Be Careful At Home
Pregnancy loss at times is caused by food-borne illnesses like listeria. During ante-natal clinics, pregnant women are routinely advised to avoid the foods like undercooked meats and unpasteurized cheeses. The precaution is good, but they are not the only possible sources of contracting this food-borne illness. Safe food handling is very important for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. They need to:-
- Wash their hands before and after handling raw foods with antiseptic soap and water.
- Avoid undercooked meat, fish, and eggs.
- Avoid bacteria food multiplications by refrigerating leftovers promptly.
- Avoid prolonging the use or freezing of your meat and fish for at least one to two days of purchase.
- After any purchase, try to thoroughly wash fresh produce.
4. Get Vaccinated
Some women believed that when they get vaccinated against any flu attack, they might lose their pregnancy. But studies show no increased risk of miscarriage after the flu vaccination. Regardless of any stage of your pregnancy, an inactivated influenza vaccine is highly recommended.
The H1N1 strain, in particular, is more fatal to pregnant women than others which is the reason why they are at high risk when they contact with this flu while pregnant. High fever should be avoided during pregnancy because it is also associated with neural tube defects.
COVID-19 infection during pregnancy might lead to giving birth to premature babies. Covid-19 precautions have to be adhered to during pregnancy; otherwise, the result might be pregnancy loss.
5. It Is Better To Lose Weight Before Conceiving
It is advisable to lose weight before getting pregnant because of the effect on both the mother and the baby. Most times, pregnancy just comes without notice. This is where you have to watch what you eat while pregnant so that you will not have the case of being overweight. Obesity has been linked to many health problems even while not pregnant. It tends to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, not to mention pregnancy complications like premature birth, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and all types of pregnancy loss.
6. Eat Right
What you eat determines to some extent how healthy you’re. Eating a healthy balanced diet is not just only for people who’re trying to lose weight, it’s for everyone. And that includes pregnant women. Both the mother and the unborn baby in the womb need adequate balanced nutrients to be in optimal health conditions. Research has found that pregnancy complications can be reduced to the barest minimum by eating the right food at the right time.
7. Start Prenatal Care
It’s very important to attend an ante-natal clinic if pregnant women want to have a successful pregnancy. Health issues don’t have to be taken for granted and don’t assume that you know it all. The advice from your doctor may uncover some health problems or pregnancy complications you aren’t aware of, which could lead to pregnancy loss.
8. Take Your Medications
Pregnancy loss has been associated with different types of chronic health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, etc. If you know that you’re pregnant and you’re suffering from a certain illness, the best thing for you is to confide with your doctor and take adequate medications recommended to you. This will not only keep you healthy, but it will also prevent any possibility of pregnancy loss.
Routine medications during ante-natal clinic are very important if you want your pregnancy to be successful. Medical practitioners view successful pregnancy as how healthy the mother and the baby in the womb are until the point of delivery. So any pregnant woman should be conscious of this fact and they should take their routine medication religiously.
9. Have Safe Sex
The truth is that there are cases of babies born with different types of diseases which they inherit from their mothers. This might result from sexually transmitted diseases like staphylococcus aureus (bacteria), chlamydia, and syphilis which can cause pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal death, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. It is best to stay with your partner and maintain the sex life you’re used to than risk pregnancy loss.
The way and method you have sex while pregnant also determines the safety of your pregnancy. Too much aggressiveness during sex should be minimized. Please play it safe.
10. Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption for pregnant women is not recommended. Apart from the inhibitory effect, it has on drug metabolism; it also has a risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome. Although this reason for avoiding alcohol is known to some people, it also carries the potential risk of pregnancy loss or stillbirth, especially when alcohol consumption is much more frequent.