Poppy lives in Japan. She recently suffered a miscarriage and hopes her experience can help others.
Miscarriage is a terrible and traumatizing situation that nobody wants to experience. Unfortunately, many women go through this horrible phenomenon, and often a lot of time and care is needed to recover. It's also at the backs of the minds of every expecting mother.
To understand something, it's important to know all the facts about it as well as dismissing rumors or myths that are not true. Here are five common myths about miscarriage with medical evidence to back them up:
Myths About Miscarriage
- Miscarriage Is Rare (False)
- It Only Happens to Old or Sick People (False)
- You Can Always Feel a Miscarriage Happening (False)
- Miscarriage Is Caused by Stress and Negative Emotions (False)
- It Can Be Caused by Light Exercise (False)
Facts About the Risks
- Caffeine and Alcohol Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy (True)
- There Are Also Foods to Avoid While Pregnant (True)
1. Miscarriage Is Rare (False)
Many people assume that miscarriage is a very rare tragedy that only happens to the extremely unfortunate. Miscarriage is actually surprisingly common, no matter the mother's circumstances or standard of living.
According to WebMD, between 15–25% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you include very early miscarriages (that the women may just think it is a period), the number skyrockets to 50%.
This doesn't mean that if you are pregnant, you should constantly worry about it happening. The good news is that the risk is significantly lower after 16 weeks.
2. It Only Happens to Old or Sick People (False)
Although women who conceive at a later age or with problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and STDs do have a greater risk of losing their baby, it doesn't mean the young and healthy are completely free of the risk. Medical News Today offers more on statistics of age correlating with miscarriage statistics.
At 25 years old and free of any health problems, my miscarriage came as a devastating shock leaving me in disbelief. It can happen to anyone, not only mothers who are older and have health problems.
3. You Can Always Feel a Miscarriage Happening (False)
You may have seen in movies or TV shows that when a woman loses her baby, she always understands right away. Though miscarriages, especially later ones, can definitely come with symptoms, not all mothers know when they're experiencing a miscarriage.
When I lost my baby, I didn't know until the doctor did a scan and told me there was no heartbeat. Be sure to get frequent prenatal checkups so your doctor can monitor your baby's development.
4. Miscarriage Is Caused by Stress and Negative Emotions (False)
Although constant and long-term stress can affect a baby's development, according to Mayo Clinic, negative emotions alone do not cause problems for the fetus. An argument with your partner, stress at work, or everyday ups and downs will not cause a miscarriage.
5. It Can Be Caused by Light Exercise (False)
Many pregnant women (after getting a thumbs-up from their doctor) are actually encouraged to do some light exercise while pregnant. After all, exercise is important for our daily lives and helps our own health as well as the baby's. Light yoga or stretching will actually benefit the pregnancy, not increase the risk of loss.
However, it is important to know that high-intensity exercise can carry a risk. Very Well Family has more information on what kind of activities should be avoided during pregnancy.
1. Caffeine and Alcohol Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy (True)
Alcohol and caffeine should definitely be cut out of your diet while you're expecting. According to the NHS, pregnant women should decrease their caffeine consumption to less than 200mg per day; a lot of caffeine can actually double the risk of losing the child.
Alcohol, of course, should also be avoided when carrying a baby. Alcohol can cause a number of birth defects and is dangerous for a developing fetus.
2. There Are Also Foods to Avoid While Pregnant (True)
Pregnant women don't only have to give up their coffee and wine. There are also a number of foods that should be avoided to give your child the healthiest pregnancy possible. These include:
- Soft cheeses
- Sushi with raw fish
- Certain chocolates and sodas containing caffeine
- High-mercury fish such as shark, swordfish, or king mackerel
You can find more information on what to eat and not eat while pregnant on WebMD's eating right while pregnant page.
Miscarriage is a very real and terrible thing, and it helps to be educated about it. Whether you're just doing your research for a planned child or you have suffered a miscarriage recently, I hope that this article was useful in busting some myths about this condition.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Poppy