Whether you’re hoping to become pregnant soon or just discovered that you’re expecting, your life is about to change. There are certain things people can and can’t do while they’re pregnant, so what should you add to your daily routine? Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk of pregnancy loss.
Washing your hands may seem like the most obvious advice, but it’s even more critical when you’re expecting. Several bacteria and viruses cause pregnancy loss, including:
Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
Washing your hands before eating meals or snacks is a powerful way to keep your health intact. You should thoroughly cook all your food to prevent E. coli salmonella from endangering your pregnancy.
Doctors typically recommend only two ultrasound tests after getting a positive pregnancy test. The first will happen during the first trimester to identify the due date. The second occurs in the second trimester to identify abnormalities and the fetus’s sex.
Your doctor may advise more frequent ultrasounds if you’re genetically predisposed to have higher-risk pregnancies or if they find anything during the standard appointments. Always follow what your doctor says to reduce your risk of pregnancy loss by catching any concerning developments as they occur.
Many pregnant women have never heard of the Rhesus (Rh) factor, but it can cause pregnancy loss. Any infant can have a positive or negative RH factor. Most people learn their results only by requesting a blood test as an adult or after losing a pregnancy and testing their blood.
Rh factor is a term that describes protein on red blood cells. People either inherit the ability to make it or they don’t. If you don’t have the Rh factor and receive a negative result, your fetus can still have a positive Rh factor from the father.
Experts estimate that 15% of people are Rh-negative, so you aren’t alone if you receive the same results. Either way, your doctor can help. Incompatible fetus and mother Rh factors cause the woman’s immune system to attack the fetus as a foreign object, resulting in miscarriage. A simple shot will protect Rh-negative blood cells and prevent miscarriages in future pregnancies.
There’s a common misconception that the flu shot causes miscarriage, but research shows no additional risks in pregnant women who get the vaccine. It’s riskier to get sick. A woman’s immune system and lungs adapt to the pregnancy, and they are more likely to get the flu and require hospitalization. Preterm labor and congenital disabilities related to fevers can also occur.
Your body needs essential nutrients to maintain your pregnancy and carry the fetus to term before your water breaks. Enjoying junk food for the occasional craving is understandable, but eating unhealthy foods increases the risk of foodborne illnesses that cause miscarriage.
Talk with your doctor to create a healthier diet if you’re unsure where to start. Avoiding foods like uncooked meats, unpasteurized cheese, deli meat and soft cheeses dramatically reduces your risk of foodborne viruses that could result in pregnancy loss.
Some people think they can enjoy an occasional drink while pregnant, but that’s not true. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding alcohol entirely for the duration of a pregnancy. Even small amounts can be dangerous and result in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) or miscarriage.
These are a few things women can do to reduce their risk of pregnancy loss. Make an appointment to discuss these options with your doctor to pinpoint the best strategies for your health needs. You’ll keep yourself and your pregnancy safe by making the best choices leading up to your due date.
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