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Understanding Miscarriage -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent a Miscarriage?

Most miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities in the fetus. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to prevent miscarriages caused by genetic abnormalities.

However, not all miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities. If you have had a miscarriage, work with your health care provider to determine the reason for your miscarriage, if possible, and to plan a future pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy may help. Here are some tips that may help prevent miscarriage:

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  • Be sure to take at least 400 mg of folic acid every day, beginning at least one to two months before conception, if possible.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Manage stress.
  • Keep your weight within normal limits.
  • Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Don't drink alcohol or have more than one to two cups of coffee a day.
  • Avoid illicit drugs.

These steps may help to prevent miscarriage, too:

  • Avoid radiation and poisons such as arsenic, lead, formaldehyde, benzene, and ethylene oxide.
  • Take special care to keep your abdomen safe while pregnant. Avoid sports that carry a higher risk for injury, such as contact sports and skiing, and always wear your seat belt.
  • Check with your health care provider before taking any medication including over-the-counter drugs during pregnancy.
  • Avoid environmental hazards such as X-rays and infectious diseases.

You can also help ensure a healthy baby by finding out about and treating any health conditions you have before you try to conceive. If, for example, you know a previous miscarriage was due to an autoimmune response or a hormonal imbalance, seek treatment for this underlying condition. Once you become pregnant, get early, comprehensive prenatal care to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on March 11, 2014

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