Excessive Worrying About Miscarriages
Pregnancy can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety for a mother-to-be. One common worry that many pregnant mothers experience is a fear of miscarriage. As much as you want to avoid miscarriage and as frightening as it would be, excessive worry about this possibility won’t help you maintain your pregnancy.
Real Risks of Miscarriage
Temper your worries about miscarriage by learning the real risks associated with pregnancy loss. Miscarriage occurs in 10 to 25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies. Of these miscarriages, between 50 and 75 percent are chemical pregnancies, which means that the miscarriage happens very quickly after implantation. If a chemical pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage occurs, the mother-to-be often doesn’t even realize she was pregnant because the bleeding usually happens about the time her period would have come. Most miscarriages happen during the first trimester – the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Higher Risks of Miscarriage
Some women have higher risks of miscarriage. Starting at age 30, miscarriage risk begins to increase slightly. Women between the ages of 35 and 40 have higher miscarriage risks and women over 40 have the highest miscarriage risk. A woman who has experienced previous miscarriages also has a higher risk of experiencing a future miscarriage.
Effects of Worry
Pregnancy is difficult enough emotionally and physically. If you compound it with excessive worry and anxiety about miscarriage, you could create additional problems, warns the March of Dimes website. Anxiety could lead to trouble sleeping, headaches and difficulty with eating – either overeating or eating too little. Prolonged stress and anxiety during pregnancy might even lead to premature delivery or a low birth weight baby.
After the detection of the fetal heartbeat, the rate of miscarriage drops. Detecting fetal heart tones at 6 weeks gestation gives a 78 percent chance of the pregnancy continuing. Detecting fetal heart tones at 8 weeks gestation gives a 98 percent chance of the pregnancy continuing. Heart tones at 10 weeks gestation give a 99.4 chance of the pregnancy continuing.
If worry about miscarriage results in excessive anxiety, talk to your health care professional. Severe and untreated anxiety might involve risks for both the mother and the unborn baby. Unresolved anxiety could lead to postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Prenatal cognitive therapy may ease symptoms or a practitioner may prescribe medication.
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