By Lisa Church
Sources vary on the frequency of miscarriages. The March of Dimes reports that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3.
When a baby is created, it takes half of its genes from the mother's egg (that ovulated that month) and the other half from the father's sperm. At the exact moment of conception, all of the genes mix and come together. Sometimes errors occur when the genes combine and important information is lost. This is a common cause of miscarriage, and about 50% of the time there is no explanation.
Many women experience stressful events during pregnancy, and they have perfectly healthy babies in spite of the trauma. Countless others continue their normally hurried work pace without slowing down, and while they may feel tired, they are not at risk of a miscarriage.
Do not confuse the word abortion with the term that describes the elective procedure, which is called a "therapeutic abortion." The word "abort" simply means "to end prematurely," so abortion and miscarriage are medically interchangeable terms. Doctors refer to a miscarriage as a "spontaneous abortion."
Approximately 90% of women who have had one miscarriage, go on to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby next time.
An estimated 60% of women who have suffered two miscarriages have a healthy subsequent pregnancy. Even for women who have three miscarriages in a row, there is more than a 50% chance of a healthy baby in the fourth pregnancy.
Avoiding possible causes of miscarriage when considering or planning for your next pregnancy is important. Especially focus on those that you can control such as quitting smoking, treating genital infections, refraining from recreational drug use, and controlling diabetes. For more see the causes of miscarriage.
There is no set time for grief to take place. As a parent, you never entirely get over the loss of your baby. However, it is generally noted that grief can last between 6 months and 4 years. That does not mean that the pain is over when the grief is over, it means that you have been able to accept your loss and move toward healing.
Lisa Church suffered a miscarriage during her first pregnancy, and the experience changed her life. After three months of planning and loving her unborn baby, her hopes for a family abruptly ended. She was astounded to learn that four of her closest friends had also endured pregnancy loss, and each of them had carried this burden in silence. Learning that nearly 1 million couples each year suffer miscarriage in the U.S. alone, Lisa decided to do something. She shares her experience, along with her four friends, in the book Hope is Like the Sun. The book focuses on the real feelings and individual experiences of grief and gives practical and simple advice on coping with the pain and moving toward healing.
Lisa did go on to have a healthy daughter, and she also enjoys her college-aged stepdaughter. She and her family live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She loves the beach, skiing, graphic arts, decorating and spending time with her family.
Copyright © Lisa Church. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.