A miscarriage is the unfortunate result of a genetic abnormality that occurs in the fetus, often characterized by the tripling of a chromosome. While miscarriage can’t be prevented by Western medicine in any definite way, there are plenty of precautions you can take to decrease your chance of miscarrying. Simply taking control of your health and maintaining good eating, exercising, and sleeping patterns can help to ensure that you’ll have a positive pregnancy.
Follow the steps below to learn how to reduce your chances of experiencing a miscarriage these steps are classified into Before You Get Pregnant, During Your Pregnancy and Following the Fertility Diet.
Before You Get Pregnant
1. Get a STD check. Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can increase the risk of a miscarriage. Be sure to have your doctor check you for STDs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and herpes, as these diseases may increase the risk of miscarriage.
2. Know your vaccination history. Some diseases can increase your risk of miscarriage, though many of these diseases can be prevented through simple vaccinations. If you are unsure of your vaccination history, check your vaccination record.
You may need to undergo blood testing to determine whether or not you received certain vaccinations as a child.
It is best to get vaccinated before you plan to conceive, so check your record early.
3. Understand that some chronic conditions may increase your risk of miscarriage. Thyroid disease, epilepsy, and lupus are thought to increase the risk of miscarriage, though it is entirely likely that you can still have a healthy baby if you have one of these diseases. Be sure to disclose your family disease history to your doctor.
4. Take at least 600 mg of folic acid per day. You should begin this dosage one to two months before you plan to conceive. Folic acid helps to reduce the chance that your baby will be born with birth defects.
5. Limit your caffeine intake. While trying to get pregnant, do not drink more than two cups of coffee (200mg) per day. Caffeine is a drug that can affect your hormone levels and is not healthy in large quantities.
During Your Pregnancy
1. Exercise lightly. It’s very beneficial to you and your baby to get moderate exercise everyday, but avoid over-exerting yourself. Extreme exercise may increase your risk of miscarriage because it heightens your body temperature and reduces the blood flow available to the fetus. Avoid contact sports that might cause you to jolt or fall and potentially injure the baby.
2. Avoid un pasteurized dairy products and raw meat. Infections caused by these products include listeria and toxoplasmosis, which can increase your risk of miscarriage. Although rare, these infections can be avoided by simply making sure that all of your meat is cooked (this means no raw sushi!) and that your dairy products are pasteurized.
3. Refrain from using tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. As with any pregnancy, drugs should be avoided completely while attempting to conceive and especially once you know you are pregnant. In addition to being extremely unhealthy for you and your baby, using these drugs can also increase your risk of miscarriage.
4. Avoid radiation and poisons. Do not get x-rays of any kind during your pregnancy. Stay away from materials such as arsenic, lead, formaldehyde, benzene, and ethylene oxide, as these may harm your baby.
5. Reduce your stress level. When you are stressed out, your body has a more difficult time fighting off sickness and keeping you healthy. Try to keep calm throughout your pregnancy by practicing any techniques that may help you relieve stress. For some this may be deep breathing, meditation, visualization, maintaining a yoga practice, or even painting or gardening.
6. Again, limit your caffeine intake. Do not drink more than two cups of coffee per day or ingest more than about 200mg of caffeine per day.
7. Explore the possibility of taking progesterone. A female sex hormone, progesterone causes secretory changes in the uterus lining that are necessary for a fertilized egg to thrive. Some miscarriages may be a result of inadequate progesterone secretion. During the first trimester of pregnancy, progesterone may help reduce the risk of miscarriage. Ask your doctor if progesterone is an appropriate option for you to consider.
Following the Fertility Diet
1. Consume organic vegetables and fruits daily. Avoid eating conventional produce that contains herbicides and pesticides that may negatively impact fertility.
2. Choose organic, grass-fed, whole fat, and raw dairy products. Conventional dairy sources may contain hormones and antibiotics that can increase estrogen levels in the body and harm fertility. If dairy does not agree with your stomach or diet plans, you can avoid dairy altogether and opt for a nut-based milk. Do not drink soy milk.
3. Eat cold water fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to being rich in protein and vitamin A, fish also contain healthy fatty acids that help increase hormone production, reduce inflammation, and ensure a regular menstrual cycle.
Aim to eat wild salmon, cod, and halibut, but avoid farmed fish whenever possible, as farmed fish may contain antibiotics and food coloring.
Do not eat large deep sea fish like ahi tuna, swordfish, and sea bass, as these fish may be high in mercury which can be harmful to the body.
4. Eat only grass-fed, organic meat. Avoid consuming hormones and antibiotics that may increase estrogen levels by choosing to eat only grass-fed, organic meat. Protein is essential during your pregnancy, but be sure to avoid conventional meats.
Additionally, if you are concerned about endometriosis, limit your consumption of red meat, as the two have been linked by scientific study.
Make sure you only consume poultry that is marked as free range, cage free, or organic as well.
5. Choose whole grains over processed grains. Whole grains are high in fiber and essential vitamins. Fiber is particularly important for your diet as it helps the body remove excess hormones and helps keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Processed grains lack the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
6. Consume fiber with each meal. In addition to regulating hormone levels and blood sugar levels, fiber also promotes healthy digestion. Try to eat fibrous fruits, vegetables, dark greens, beans, and whole grains with each meal.
7. Avoid eating soy unless it is fermented. Soy contains a compound that acts like a hormone in your body and thus it can disrupt your hormone balance. Try to avoid all soy products while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
8. Reduce your intake of refined sugars. Processed sugar found in bottled juices, popsicles, candy, packaged desserts, etc. can disrupt your blood sugar levels and weaken your immune system.
9. Be sure to drink an adequate about of water. Women require about 2.2 liters (0.6 US gal) of water per day. If possible, avoid tap water that may contain traces of pesticides or unwanted minerals from agricultural runoff.
Stay positive. The mind is very powerful. If you think happy, positive thoughts, you are more likely to reduce stress on you and your baby.
Miscarriage can be an emotionally traumatic experience. Seek a support system or visit a psychotherapist to discuss and address any emotions that arise.
Try to stay as generally healthy as possible. Eat well, exercise lightly, and reduce stress.
Look to friends and family for support. 15% of pregnancies are miscarriages. Although common, miscarriages are still traumatic experiences.
Do not stand in areas where others are smoking.
Avoid putting excess pressure on your belly.
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