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Preventing miscarriages — Ask the Experts

By Peter Wood 1 min read
Friday, August 10, 2018

Q: What can I do to prevent future miscarriages? How about avoiding stress, reduced physical exertion or watching what I eat?

One in four pregnancies results in a miscarriage. Often, miscarriage is nature’s way of dealing with chromosomal abnormalities which you can’t do anything about.

Three in four of all miscarriages happen in the first trimester. Miscarriages from 14 weeks onwards may be due to a range of health issues of the mother, including diabetes or thyroid disease, hormone problems, immune system responses, or uterine and cervix weakness. Women aged 35 or over have a higher risk, particularly if they have already miscarried.

Lifestyle can have an influence—obesity, tobacco, alcohol and too much caffeine use, several herbal remedies, high levels of mercury from certain types of seafood, and even chlorine compounds in drinking water, are thought to have caused miscarriage.

However, there are lots of myths about miscarriage. Remember it is not linked to your emotional state, exercise, work, sex, air travel or spicy food.

Best advice? Be happy, look forward to the birth. Continue taking folic acid, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, and manage stress. Following all of these tips will give you a good chance to minimise complications.

Have a question for our panel of experts? Ask them here!

Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.

Peter Wood is an obstetrician-gynaecologist with Sydney Adventist Hospital.