Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pregnancy Diet and Spontaneous Abortion

Sometimes there is really no explanation as to why some pregnant mothers have experienced a spontaneous abortion. However, prior to becoming pregnant, it’s of paramount importance that a woman at least try to be aware of some of the most common known causes of such traumatic mishap.  Although she may not have control over all the possible reasons, she definitely has control over certain things such as her diet.

What is a Spontaneous Abortion?
A “spontaneous abortion“, which is also known as miscarriage, occurs when a baby (fetus) is lost spontaneously before the 24th week of pregnancy. After this time, the death of a baby is called a 'stillbirth'.

Based on findings, the causes of a spontaneous abortion cannot always be determined. However, the following are the most common known causes of a miscarriage in the first third of pregnancy (1st trimester): 
  • Chromosomal abnormalities(most common)
  • Collagen vascular disease (such as lupus)
  • Diabetes and other hormonal problems
  • Infections
  • Congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the uterus
  • Fibroids

Other Factors 
Ovulation Test kit

  • Age of the Pregnancy
  • Maternal Trauma
  • Improper implantation of the egg into uterine
  • Lifestyle of a pregnant woman (drug usage, exposure to harmful environmental agents etc)
Pregnancy Diet
Although the above listed are some of the most common known causes of miscarriage, another factor not listed above is pregnancy diet or a female’s diet during pregnancy. It might come as a surprise to many to know that the lack of or overuse of certain nutrients  as well as the consumption of certain types of food product specifically, can also lead to spontaneous abortion. 

In fact, it has been discovered that ingesting excess amounts of vitamin A can become toxic, and fish with mercury exposure such as sharks, swordfish, or even canned tuna, increases risk of spontaneous abortion, and so does unpasteurized dairy products, and undercooked meats.

Based on findings, malnourished pregnant women also often have spontaneous abortions, give birth prematurely, or lose their babies shortly after birth. In countries ravaged by famine or war, in place like Somalia or Rwanda, the effects of malnutrition on child development are clear. There are high rates  of miscarriage and failure to thrive, unless immediate dietary adjustments are make.  Even in developed societies such as the United States, it is believed that an estimated 3-10% of all live births show indications of fetal malnutrition. According to researchers, most fetal malnutrition occur in low-income families.

Counseling about nutrition during pregnancy and weight gain helps protect the health of the pregnant woman and baby.  Based on the recommendation, three meals each day consisting of a balanced diet with increased intake of calories and protein are generally sufficient.  Women who are pregnant are advised to increase their daily diet by the following amounts of nutrients:
  • 300 additional Kilocalories
  • 5 to 6 grams of protein
  • 15 milligrams of iron
  • 250 mg of calcium
  • 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid
It's an indisputable fact, that good nutrition during pregnancy is of paramount importance. If a woman doesn't not have the right food to eat, doesn't know what to eat or foods to avoid during pregnancy, this can lead to a spontaneous abortion. To lower the risk of this occurring, a pregnant female needs to adhere to the diet recommended by her health care provider.  She should also be careful not to overuse supplements. All pregnant females are advised to do their own research and also consult with their health care providers with any question or concern and for further recommendations.