Just like with anything else in life, there are risks associated with giving birth. For millions of women around the world, a miscarriage can bring one of the happiest periods of their life to a tragic end.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are much more common than one might guess, with 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies ending in miscarriage for women in their first trimester, and one to five percent of pregnancies ending in miscarriage for women in their second trimester (per March of Dimes).
Typically, the symptoms of a miscarriage are vaginal spotting or bleeding, pain or cramping in the abdomen and lower back, or fluid or tissue passing from the vagina (per the Mayo Clinic). Though miscarriages can be caused by circumstances that are beyond the mother’s control, there are certain behaviors and factors that are known to cause miscarriages. Thankfully, many of these factors can be eliminated by the mother to curb the chances of a miscarriage occurring.
In some cases, women can prevent a miscarriage from occurring
There are a number of risk factors for miscarriage — some that can even be avoided entirely by the mother. For one, many lifestyle-related behaviors, like smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or maintaining a poor, unbalanced diet throughout the pregnancy can increase the likelihood of miscarriage. However, simply curbing these behaviors during pregnancy may not do the trick. Physicians suggest steering clear of these habits prior to pregnancy, as well, in order to lower the risk of miscarriage (via March of Dimes).
Limiting the amount of caffeine that you drink per day, at least during your pregnancy, can also benefit your unborn child, as it has been shown that consuming more than two caffeinated beverages per day is linked with a higher risk of miscarriage (per the Mayo Clinic).
Though these risk factors affect a smaller percentage, it is important to note that certain medicines, like acne drug Accutane, have also been shown to cause miscarriages. Additionally, exposure to radiation, harmful chemicals, and solvents, like paint thinners, can be harmful to your unborn baby (per the Cleveland Clinic).
If all of these lifestyle changes seem overwhelming, the Mayo Clinic also notes that expectant mothers can rest assured that exercise, sexual intercourse, working, and other routine activities do not cause a miscarriage.
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