Losing a baby during pregnancy is a hard blow especially for you, but also for your partner and your family. Here is all the information that may help you to handle this shock.
What is a miscarriage?Miscarriage means losing your baby during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. If the loss happens in the first twelve weeks, it is called an early miscarriage.
How common are miscarriages? Regrettably, many women experience such a loss: they do not know exact numbers, but about 15% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (Shiers 2003: 279). Many women do not know about their pregnancy when they lose their baby. About 3/4 of all fertilized eggs go off before the period stops. Almost all miscarriages occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy (Shiers 2003: 279), very rarely there is a late miscarriage, which occurs only in one in a hundred pregnancies (Symonds 2009: 314).How do I know if I'm at risk of miscarriage?
There is no answer. Even healthy women who are not in a high risk group may have a miscarriage. Often the doctors can not retroactively detect any reason why a pregnant woman has lost her baby. That's why doctors can not do anything about it before. This is especially true for an early miscarriage.Research shows that miscarriage is more likely if you smoke
. (Shiers 2003: 279)
- drink more than four cups of coffee per day. (Shiers 2003: 279)
- drink a lot of alcohol. (MIDIRS undated a: 3)
- The risk of miscarriage is also higher if you:
- a uterine abnormality or a leiomyoma (benign uterus Tumor) (Shiers 2003: 279).
- have the autoimmune disease Lupus (Lloyd 2003: 349).
- diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease (Shiers 2003: 279). However, if you are already well-adjusted to medical treatment and medication because of these diseases, the risk of a miscarriage is even lower.
- had an infection such as rubella, listeriosis or chlamydia in early pregnancy.
- Your age also plays a role (Shiers 2003: 279). Women over the age of 30 are more likely to miscarry than younger women. More often, women over 35 lose their baby (Llewellyn-Jones : 105). The older the expectant mother is, the higher the likelihood that something will go wrong in procreation and the baby's chromosomes are not arranged as they should be.This also increases the risk of losing the baby.
Why did I have a miscarriage? What could be the reason?
No one can tell the exact reason in most early miscarriages. But in about half of all early miscarriages, it is believed that the baby did not develop properly, because in procreation (which is a very complex process!), Something went wrong and the chromosomes were not properly created.The trigger for subsequent miscarriage - after SSW 20 - may be infection during pregnancy, anomalies of the uterus or placenta, or a shortened cervix, among others.
Unfortunately, two tests that can detect genetic defects in babies can cause a miscarriage. These are amniocentesis and chorion biopsy. The amniotic fluid examination is usually performed between SSW 14 and SSW 17. About one percent of these examinations result in a miscarriage (MIDIRS undated b: 6). Chorion biopsy can be done between weeks 11 and 19. It causes miscarriage in one to two percent of the women examined.
How do I know that I have a miscarriage?
The most obvious signs are period-like pain and heavy bleeding that may contain tissue lumps. Especially in the first weeks of pregnancy you could have a miscarriage without knowing it. Many women mistakenly consider the miscarriage to be a delayed period.Some miscarriages are discovered during one of the checkups when the doctor stops hearing the baby's heartbeat.
I have spotting. Can this be a sign of a beginning miscarriage?
Spotting is called this because it only causes a slight bleeding. For example, you might spot stains in your underwear or when wiping your vagina after using the toilet. Mild bleeding in the first period of pregnancy is normal. Nevertheless, you should definitely inform your doctor if you have spotting. Presumably, he / she will want to examine you.Can I do something to prevent a miscarriage or reduce my risk?
Unfortunately, one can not stop a miscarriage by anything. But you can reduce your risk. The most important thing is that you give up smoking before you go to school. This is certainly not easy, but it significantly reduces the risk of miscarriage. Also read our guide on how to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy before conception.Even if you're already pregnant, stop smoking. Every cigarette less helps your baby. Try to drink as little coffee, cola or other drinks as possible with caffeine and abstain from alcohol altogether.
If you have had a miscarriage and are now pregnant again, your doctor will tell you to save a lot during the first few months of pregnancy and to abstain from sex.If you are worried that you will have relationship problems with your partner, ask your midwife for a referral. It can help you to make your partner understand the need for these restrictions. But as I said, all of this can help, but it can not prevent a miscarriage. And if it does, then it can be very hard for you to process that you have lost your baby. But perhaps the idea that most women get pregnant again after a miscarriage, and then have a completely normal pregnancy and a healthy baby, comforts you.
I can not handle this loss. Where can I get help?
In Germany, every woman who has had a miscarriage is entitled to seek the help of a midwife, regardless of the time of the miscarriage. Special bereavement escort and support is available for orphaned parents and shadow and light.
Many women also find it helpful to talk to others who are also mourning for their baby. There is our community and the grief groups.Sources
Llewellyn-Jones, D. .
Fundamentals of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
7th seventh edition. London: Mosby. Ch. 12: 105-112. Lloyd, C. 2003 Common Medical Disorders Associated with Pregnancy. Ch. 19. In D.M. Fraser and M.A. Cooper. eds. Myles Textbook for Midwives.
14th edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. pp 321-355. MIDIRS (Midwives Information and Resource Service). Undated a. Alcohol and Pregnancy.
Informed Choice for Professionals. 4. MIDIRS in collaboration with the NHS Center for Reviews and Dissemination. Shiers, C. 2003. Abnormalities of Early Pregnancy. Ch. 17. In D.M. Fraser and M.A. Cooper. eds. Myles Textbook for Midwives.
14th edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. pp 275-293. Symonds IM. 2009. Abnormalities of early pregnancy
. In: Fraser DM, Cooper MA. eds. Myles Textbook for Midwives. 15th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 313-32 Show sources Hide sources