Miscarriage – A Common Pregnancy Fear (and why you shouldn’t worry)

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Worry during pregnancy

It is only natural to worry during pregnancy as it is an unpredictable time full of uncertainty and it would be unusual to go through this whole period without any concerns. There are particular things that are more common to worry about, and if these are playing on your mind then you are not alone.

The good news is that usually your worries are about things that are unlikely to happen, and even if you have a higher risk factor, you will be taken great care of by your medical team, who will be able to answer any questions that you have about your specific circumstances.

A common worry … I will have a miscarriage and lose the baby …

Firstly, it is unlikely. The majority of pregnancies result in a healthy baby and statistically less than 20 per cent in miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur in the very early stages of pregnancy, typically when you are unaware that you are pregnant and it would appear just like a normal period although a little late. Once a heartbeat is detectible at around six to eight weeks the risk of miscarriage drops to around 5 per cent. Even more reassuringly, should you have already experienced a miscarriage, although your anxiety levels are likely to be higher, quite understandably, your risk is actually lower at around 3 per cent.

What causes a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is usually the result of chromosomal abnormality that prevents the fetus from normal development; miscarrying is natural in this situation and is totally unavoidable and not due to something that a mother did or didn’t do. There are things you can do to lower the risk though by quitting smoking and drinking alcohol and limiting caffeine (aim for less than one large cup a day). Keep your weight within normal limits and eat healthy, well balanced meals. Keep up a gentle exercise program approved by your doctor and manage stress as well as you can.

So, the best thing you can do is to try not to worry – if you have any concerns you should check with your doctor and take their advice, but otherwise relax and try to enjoy your pregnancy.

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