I was wondering if i could call upon your wisdom to help ease the mind of someone i know. I have a friend who i have known for aaaages, like 8 years and he has been TTC with his girlfriend. I don't know his girlfriend very well, but i work with her and her SO is a great guy so i want to help if i can.
Unfortunately she has suffered a miscarriage this week at around 7 weeks. She had a scan last week and there was a heartbeat, but she was bleeding and at a follow up they discovered that the bean had passed away.
The thing that bothers me is that the tw.at of a medical professional actually told her that she should have taken it easy! The poor girl has been off work because of the bleeding, and i don't know her full personal life, but i am guessing that what this person has told her is completely unfounded and at least really, really hurtful!
We briefly texted and i told her that what they said is a load of tits and not to let it bother her. I also did a google search afterwards and although it said that there is a link between stress and m/c, the stress would have to be like something major - like a death or something.
I remember from reading posts on here in the past that people say that there is nothing at all you can do to save a pregnancy if it's going to miscarry. The doctor or whoever was wrong to put that on her wasn't he? What do you think?
I'm going to link her to this post once i get a couple of responses. I don't think she's a member of preg.org, but i'm just hoping it will make her feel better. I know from going through loss myself that you feel enough friggin guilt about it, without doctors telling you it was your fault!
I'm sorry for your friend's loss.. that's awful what the doctor said. The whole medical community can be so insensitive at times. I've heard that stress can cause m\c, but like you said, I think it would have to be something extremely tragic... much more than having a "bad day." In some cases maybe taking it easy would help, but for the most part, I think there is really nothing you can do to prevent it.
At least with my particular loss (partial molar pregnancy) - it was essentially doomed from the beginning (that sounds harsh, I know, but this is how I have to think of it.) I could have stood on my head and held my breath, and it would have meant nothing. There just wasn't anything there that could have ever survived. So when I think of it that way, it really eases my mind, because it didn't matter that I had a little coffee, or a few glasses of wine before I tested positive etc.
Of course... everyone is different. And definitely direct your friend here, this place is a lifesaver!
I am sorry your friend's doctor was less than tactful in his/her response of what "may" have caused her to miscarry.
I too have heard many times about stress causing people to miscarry. That is not the only thing that can though. So your friend should feel in NO WAY guilty. There are many reasons one can miscarry - genetic mutations in the fetus is a common one and in NOWAY your friend's fault.
I know statistics are NO HELP, but I thought I would offer it anyways --- some experts say 75% of pregnancies end up in miscarriages.
The following is a result of a search I did on Miscarriage reasons (to help your friend understand better and not beat herself up over it, as I know mothers may tend to do). I am just summing up info the best I can.
There are a variety of reason why woman miscarry, but the truth is this no matter what you do or how careful you are one out of every four woman (statisticlly) will miscarry. The best advice is keep stress low and try not to worry about it so much the next time.
Again - as her doctor should have told her - the majority of miscarriages result from random chromosomal abnormalities in the developing baby. An egg or sperm will fail to divide properly and end up with the wrong number of chromosomes to form a healthy human being. While sometimes a baby with specific chromosomal abnormalities can make it to birth, such as in the case of Down's Syndrome (trisomy 21), most of the time mistakes in the number of chromosomes leave the developing baby without all the genetic material he or she needs to grow, and this causes the baby to die in utero. Chromosomal abnormalities are not a result of failing to take your prenatal vitamins or bad dietary habits. They can happen to anyone -- and in most cases they're random anomalies and everything will most likely be fine next time. It's somewhat more statistically common for older mothers to have miscarriages due to chromosomal abnormalities, but frequently afflict younger mothers too. Again, it's no one's fault.
Some other frequent causes of miscarriage are also biological. They can be caused by chronic diseases such as diabetes, immune system abnormalities, random hormonal imbalances, or an abnormally shaped uterus. As with chromosomal abnormalities, none of these conditions are caused by factors within your control -- though they can usually be treated, so if she has two miscarriages in a row she should see a doctor to discuss whether one of these might be at work in her case.
There are studies linking miscarriage to alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and use of NSAIDs. Excessive caffeine intake is also positive correlated with increased risk of miscarriage. However, bear in mind that while these factors may be correlated with miscarriage, no one thing that anyone does is going to be what makes the difference between miscarrying and not. If it were as easy to cause a miscarriage as having a single alcoholic drink or drinking one too many cups of coffee, there would be very few babies born. Odds are still low that these may have anything to do with miscarraige.
A former boss of mine went on a bender the weekend before she found out she was preggie and her daughter is healthy happy and wonderful... so I wouldn't worry too much about that, if that was even a factor in this case (just trying to cover all basis - NOT saying this pertains to your friend).
As for the stress, yes it is possible, but: Stress is also not likely to have caused her miscarriage (alone). There is some evidence that extreme emotional stress may be linked to miscarriage, but as far as general anxiety, remember that most mothers are anxious and worry about their babies, yet the human race is still in existence. Studies linking stress to miscarriage more likely mean the stress of extreme, traumatic life events or continued stress at an extreme level -- not the stress of normal everyday worries.
Again, I am very sorry that your friend's doctor was SO SUPER insensitive and he should have informed her that it was in NO WAY her fault... and generally unpreventable.
Last edited by LauraT; 09-10-2008 at 02:12 PM.
Reason: to remove signature
As the previous poster mentioned, the vast majority of miscarriages are due to genetic abnormalities. There is absoultely nothing that can be done to prevent them.
As for stress, I can only speak from personal experience. My first pregnancy was a blissful dream. I had a great new job that was being very supportive of my pregnancy, my husband and I were overjoyed to be pregnant, and just generally everything was wonderful. For the first 16 weeks, everything seemed perfect. Very little stress. And then, at a 16 week ultrasound, we found out the baby was dead.
My second pregnancy was super stressful from the start. It had only been a couple months since my loss, so I was a basketcase. I was so scared and nervous about every little symptom, I literally quaked. I slept poorly, I ate poorly, it was everything I could do just to stay sane enough until the next Dr. appointment. In addition, my husband wasn't being all that understanding of my grief over the first loss. We were fighting a lot. I felt constant guilt anytime I started to feel happy because I felt like I was betraying my first baby. Loads of stress. That pregnancy resulted in a healthy baby.
Please tell your friend she did nothing to cause this. It's a bit of a Catch-22, because on one hand, knowing there's nothing you can do to prevent the miscarriage makes you feel so helpless. But she is absolutely not to blame for the loss. That medical professional is an insensitive asshat.
From what I remember from the research I did after my losses, there's nothing you can do physically that can cause an m/c.
Think about it, in normal risk pregs you can jog, swim, work out, etc... Think of J.Lo and Christina Aguilera they both went on TOUR pregnant!!!! I mean they were jumping and dancing on stage!!!
The only external things that can cause an m/c that early are things like drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and even then it has to be in pretty large quantities. And those are extremely rare instances. Most m/c's are completely random, usually chromosonal abnormalities. Very few m/c's have a definitive cause.
I can not believe a medical professional said that to her!!!!! It's so atrocious!!!!
I am so sorry she had to deal with that on top of her heartbreak.
I know they say that extreme stress can increase your chance of miscarriage. I had an extremely stressful thing happen to me right around when my last baby died and will always wonder if that's why.
The thing is, it's not like you can actually doanything about it if something terrible happens to you during pregnancy. It's not like it's your fault. Being anxious, generally stressed about stuff, or living life with a bit of 'gusto' is not going to make you miscarry. What I'm trying to say is that the amount of stress you would have to be under to affect a pregnancy would not be something that is in any way under your control. "Taking it easy" or "relaxing" is not going to make a difference.
I'm sorry your friend's doc is so insensitive.
Last edited by LauraT; 09-10-2008 at 05:15 PM.
Reason: to remove signature
But this new research suggests that CRH and other stress hormones may also be released elsewhere in the body, where it specifically targets localized mast cells -- those best known for causing allergic reactions. Mast cells are abundant in the uterus. During stress, the local release of CRH causes these mast cells to secrete substances that can cause miscarriages.
Some women may be more affected then others. All depends on how one handles ones stress.
Also, yes, a large percentage of pregnancys end due to chromosomal problems...That said, there are MANY that end due to medical problems with the mom. Those losses could be prevented if doctors were a bit more proactive...It really peeves me off when doctors jump to some kind of genetic/chromosomal diagnosis, when there is still that large percentage left that ones loss may NOT be a result of this. The only way to know for sure is to do testing on the baby.....Instead, most women just get an educated guess as to what may have caused their loss.
Sounds like your friends doc needs to be a bit more proactive... Blaming your friend for the loss of her baby is cruel...
Ive never googled the topic...but I have read several books on pg...and the stuff I have read actually said stress can not cause a miscarriage (what to expect when your expecting, a book from MAYO clinic, and 2 other random pg books that are not in my view that I cant remember the name). what it said it can contribute to is Preterm labor...but nothing I read ever said stress could cause mc. I am kind of thinking if that were true I might not have kids....Im better now, but for years had a hard time dealing with stress and anxiety, and after losing my son to IC at 24 weeks, stress was my middle name for years. I still had 6 kids in the last 10 years...despite the stress and anxiety I felt and faced. (I no longer have this problem to the same extent)
Last edited by LauraT; 09-11-2008 at 10:00 AM.
Reason: to remove signature