I remember very clearly the first time one of my clients was having a miscarriage. As a brand new midwife I had learned the textbook information of what was normal in dealing with a miscarriage but not the intense emotions that came with it. Sadly, since then I have walked many families through miscarriage. With each one I am moved with compassion to learn how to prevent miscarriages and help women not have to walk through that pain and disappointment. Miscarriage is a common occurrence with as high as 20% of all pregnancies ending in the first 20 weeks. Although accepted as common, miscarriage is not normal and though not always preventable there are many ways to support the body to make it less likely. The best time to prevent a miscarriage is before pregnancy.
Here are a few simple steps to help prevent a miscarriage.
1. Support your egg health with energy for chromosomal reproduction. Eighty percent of miscarriages in the first trimester are due to chromosomal issues with the egg. It used to be thought that there was nothing that could be done about chromosomal issues, that they just happened and were unavoidable, but that is not true. Though sometimes miscarriage does happen, and a woman should never blame herself, there are ways to prevent chromosomal issues. The egg is stimulated to start developing at 150 days before ovulation. During that time the chromosomes multiply many times. If the egg does not have enough energy for the chromosomes to multiply accurately it results in chromosomal abnormalities, genetic issues, and miscarriage. You can optimize your egg chromosomal health by taking CoQ10, 100 mg a day. CoQ10 is an antioxidant which provides energy to the cells.
2. Eliminate toxins from your environment. One of the worst toxins for fertility is BPA. It enters the body through foods we eat and drink, which have been packaged in plastic, and through handling thermal cash register receipts. Measurable levels have been found in 95% of the pooled U.S. population. It interferes with estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones and is a known endocrine disrupter. BPA causes chromosomal abnormalities. The higher amount of BPA a woman has the higher her chances are of having a miscarriage. BPA is also a major player in polycystic ovarian syndrome. See my Blog: The Top Cause of Infertility in Women
3. The second group of toxins that play a role in miscarriage are called phthalates (pronounced THAL-lates). These are a group of chemicals found in plastics to make them more flexible. They are in soaps, detergents, cleaning products, shampoos, nail polish, fragrances, hairsprays, shower curtains, and children’s toys. Phthalates can alter the activity of hormones in the body. They are recognized as a reproductive toxin in the EU and as an endocrine disruptor by the FDA. Many small studies point to them being harmful to egg quality and lowering fertility rates. Women with higher levels of phthalates before they were pregnant were more likely to have a miscarriage.
4. Do A Fertility Cleanse-- It is important to eliminate these major players in miscarriage from our environments. I also highly recommend doing a fertility cleanse about 6 months before you want to conceive or at any point to have the healthiest eggs and hormones possible. I like the below cleanses. Click on the pictures to read more about them. For more information on Fertility Cleanse see my Blog: First Step to a Healthy Pregnancy.
5. I believe all women should have a complete thyroid panel before getting pregnant because thyroid health plays such a huge role in pregnancy and the health of the newborn. Thyroid issues are rampant in the U.S. with one estimate saying that 1 in 8 women have hypothyroidism. Subclinical hypothyroidism, a very small decline in thyroid activity, can hugely affect egg production. Women treated for thyroid issues reduced the chances of miscarriage by more than 50%. Please read my blog: Want a Baby? Check Your Thyroid! I run complete thyroid panels for my fertility clients. Make a free introductory appointment to learn more about working with me and letting me help you support your body to prevent a miscarriage.
6. Vitamin D levels have been said to be one of the best predictors of pregnancy success. Women who had low levels of Vitamin D where 2.5 times more likely to have a miscarriage in the first trimester. Boosting your vitamin D levels is an easy way to help support a pregnancy. The easiest way to obtain vitamin D is by sitting in the sun for 20 min a day with no sunblock. Being in the sun for a few minutes a day, a women’s body can create between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of Vitamin D. You can also get it by eating eggs, certain fish, and taking cod liver oil. If you are low on Vitamin D I encourage you to look deeper than just taking a supplement. Vitamin D receptors are found in the gut and if you are low chances are you have enough but are not absorbing it because of gut issues.
If you address these 6 areas you will dramatically lessen your chance of having a miscarriage. Of course there are other considerations for women who have already had multiply miscarriages or have other health challenges, but let me encourage you that there are answers to your health challenges and they are probably simpler than you think. Remember, even though miscarriage is common, it should not be normal.
It Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett
Miscarriage Causes http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/miscarriage-cause_n_4116712.html
Journal of Fertility and Sterility. 2010 study lead by Dr. Lubna Pal from Yale University
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner Course Unit on Thyroid Health
Fertility and Vitamin D: The Connection. http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-vitamin-d.html
Pictures copyrighted under creative commons without attribution unless sited. Picture of BPA credited to Mark Morgan