The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published a study that looked into the some of the factors that increased the chances of miscarriages in mothers-to-be. The study looked at 600 women who suffered miscarriages in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (first trimester). They also studied 6,000 women whose pregnancies continued successfully to full term.
The team from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that women who were underweight stood a greater chance of miscarriage. Women were clubbed as underweight when their Body Mass Index (BMI) was lesser than 18.5.
The team also found that a regular diet consisting of plenty of vegetables and fruits, and also chocolates, relatively decreased the risk of miscarriages in expectant mothers.
Statistics show that one-fifth of all pregnant women suffer miscarriages annually in Britain. More than quarter million women are thus affected.
Advance in age of pregnant woman, previous history of difficulty in conception or a previous miscarriage, also increases the risks in a woman. Alcohol intake, drinking caffeinated beverages, and smoking, is frowned upon by many experts. But the study, says that the influence of these food habits are still vague. 72% of underweight women stand a greater chance to miscarry before they complete 12 weeks of pregnancy, said the researchers.
There are 50% lesser chances of a spontaneous abortion in women who were regular with their intake of fortified iron and vitamin supplements that contain folic acid. The incidence of miscarriage is halved by eating plenty of vegetables and fruits said the researchers. More than half the women who were part of the study ate chocolate. This also seemed to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Women who planned for a pregnancy seem to have an undisturbed placid pregnancy. But those who took a year or more to conceive have greater chances to miscarry. Those who suffered from nausea and vomiting in their pregnancy seemed to have 70% lesser chance of suffering a miscarriage. This seems to imply that 'morning sickness' acts like an indicator that announces that all is well with the pregnancy.
The findings of this research will definitely be an encouragement to women. Hopefully this will spur them on to include more veggies and fruits in their diet, commented lead researcher Noreen Maconochie.
These studies will go a long way to help women who have previously miscarried. They will be able to gauge why they did so, and probably help them to choose an improved diet and lifestyle that will prevent the heartache of another miscarriage, opined, The Miscarriage Association.