Miscarriage Myths

There are a number of myths surrounding pregnancy loss and what can cause it. Here are some common ones that do NOT cause a miscarriage:

  • Lifting small children or something heavy. In general, healthy pregnant women may lift 15-20 pounds in moderation. Chances are that your body would cause you to drop a heavy item before any harm could occur.
  • Stress or working too hard. Many women experience stressful events during pregnancy, and they have perfectly healthy babies in spite of the trauma. However, if you have had recurring miscarriages, talk to your doctor about the recent research that indicates it may be a factor for women who have had multiple miscarriages.
  • Drinking alcohol. Some women agonize over the cocktails or glasses of wine they drank before they knew they were pregnant. A newly forming baby receives so little of its mother’s blood for the first few weeks of pregnancy, that this should not be a cause for concern. To continue drinking throughout the pregnancy however, can cause a serious problem called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome .
  • Bad eating habits. Forgetting to take your prenatal vitamins  or failing to eat properly will generally not hurt your baby- it will hurt you. Your body will rob from you what it needs for the baby, and you will feel the effects.
  • Falling, or getting kicked or hit in the stomach. In most cases, your baby is so well protected in amniotic fluid, that only you would be hurt during a fall or blow to your stomach. You should always seek medical attention if this occurs, but generally these events (especially when they happen in the first trimester) do not cause pregnancy loss.
  • Car accidents. Unless your stomach and uterus become punctured, or you experience a period of time when your heart or breathing stops, it is unlikely that your baby would die.
  • Sex. Lovemaking has no adverse effects on your baby. You may experience spotting after sex , but this is simply because your cervix  is very soft and the blood vessels are very prominent and dilated. Unless you have been instructed by your doctor to refrain, there is no reason for concern.
  • Exercise. Working out can actually have benefits for you and your baby if you follow a few, simple rules. Do not raise your heart rate excessively; your doctor can determine your limit. This is not a miscarriage factor, but overdoing it can reduce the amount of oxygen the baby is getting.

Adapted from the book Hope is Like the Sun © Copyright 2004

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