In most cases, there is no way to prevent a miscarriage. You can avoid known risks, such as:
- Being overweight
- Caffeine or alcohol consumption
- Smoking cigarettes
Keep your body healthy by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Your physician may also prescribe bed rest and progesterone if you have experienced previous miscarriages. Take thyroid and other medications as prescribed, and consider supplementing your diet with folic acid and vitamin D.
If you are threatening miscarriage, your doctor may tell you to rest and avoid sex and exercise. If your cervix is dilated and your uterus has started to contract, the miscarriage can't be stopped. In that case, your doctor may give you medication that causes your body to get rid of the placenta and tissue from the pregnancy. If any of the tissue remains inside your uterus, your doctor will perform a dilation and curettage (D&C), which involves dilating your cervix and gently suctioning out the tissue. If you have a history of unexplained miscarriages, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, or artificial insemination may be used to achieve a successful pregnancy.
If you have an underlying medical condition, or have had multiple miscarriages, your doctor may prescribe medication to encourage a successful pregnancy. This medication will depend on what your specific health problem is.
Surgical and Other Procedures
Dilation and curettage (D&C) can remove pregnancy tissue if it is not expelled naturally from the uterus. Other surgical procedures may help problems with the uterus.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Keeping your body healthy may lower your risk of a miscarriage. Before getting pregnant, it is a good idea to discuss the risks of miscarriage with a counselor, including the importance of staying healthy and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
Miscarriage is a serious health issue. Ask your doctor about alternative therapies that may help you stay healthy during pregnancy. Never take any herb or supplement while you are pregnant without checking with your doctor first.
Nutrition and Supplements
These nutritional tips can help you stay healthy before and during pregnancy:
- Eat calcium-rich foods, including low-fat dairy, beans, almonds, and dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
- Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
- Eat clean, healthy protein, preferably from organic, free-range sources.
- Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil.
- Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
- Exercise regularly. But talk to your doctor about finding the right exercise program for you. If your pregnancy is high risk, your doctor may prescribe bed rest.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. These substances raise the risk of miscarriage.
Pregnant women may need these nutrients:
- Women who are pregnant need additional amounts folic acid (600 to 800 mcg per day). Often taken with a B-complex vitamin. Folic acid is needed for the normal development of the baby's neural tube, which becomes the brain and spine. Low levels of folic acid have been linked to miscarriage. Your doctor will prescribe prenatal vitamins that have the nutrients you need.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Such as those found in cold-water fish, seem to reduce the chance of premature delivery. They are also necessary for the baby's brain health. Pregnant women should avoid fish containing high levels of mercury. The Food and Drug Administration says pregnant women may eat up to 12 ounces a week or two average-sized portions of shrimp, salmon, cod, catfish, canned light tuna (no more than 6 oz. (170 g) a week of albacore tuna and tuna steak), and pollock. If you don't eat fish, ask your doctor about taking supplements. Omega-3 supplements may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin. Omega-3 supplements specifically designed for pregnant women are not available. Speak to your physician.
- A prenatal vitamin daily. Containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium, and iron. Ask your doctor.
DO NOT use herbs during pregnancy unless you are under the care of a qualified health care provider. Work with your doctor to determine which herbs may be right for you.
No studies show that homeopathy can prevent miscarriage. However, homeopathic literature does have reports of women who have had successful pregnancies after miscarriage when being treated with homeopathy. An experienced homeopath would consider your individual case and may recommend treatments to address your underlying condition and support your overall health.
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