Give yourself time and space to grieve and heal. Take it easy on yourself and know that one day you will be a mama too.
Miscarriage sucks. There is no other way to put it. I have been there and know the gut-wrenching feeling of a dream being taken from you. Give yourself time and space to grieve and heal. Take it easy on yourself and know that one day you will be a mama too.
So what do you do now?
First, know this: 70% of human conceptions do not survive to live birth. And the vast majority of first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Miscarriage is unfortunately very common, and the chances of it occurring because you didn't take a certain supplement or eat an apple that wasn't organic one day is very extremely slim. It is likely due to things out of your control. Know that many women who have experienced a miscarriage do become mamas. It is hard to not know the cause of it, but often nothing "caused" it.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to become the healthiest version of yourself
- If your prenatal vitamin contains folic acid, talk to your doc about whether you should switch to one that provides the methylated folate instead. Up to 25% of the population has a variant of the MTHFR gene (MTHFR 677TT) that significantly impairs their ability to metabolize folic acid.
- Stop using any recreational drugs. Many people are told to stop using marijuana (along with alcohol and smoking cigarettes), but are not specifically told that other drugs like cocaine should NOT be used too.
- Limit caffeine to 200 mg a day max. Or cut it out completely. Just warn everyone around you before you cut out the caffeine cold-turkey. I am on day four of caffeine detox, and my husband is currently hiding from me in his home-office.
- Selenium deficiency has been linked to recurrent miscarriage. Selenium is a super-easy nutrient to get in. Just make a point to eat ONE Brazil nut every other day. Easy-peezy.
There are some tests that may help support your pregnancy goals
- Getting your Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D levels checked by your OBGYN or fertility doctor is a good way to know if you should be supplementing these nutrients. Don't go gangbusters with supplementation if you don't have a known deficiency. If you do need supplementation, make sure you choose Vitamin D3 and Methylated B12. Follow recommended dosage that your doctor provided.
- You should also consider having your male-partner get a semen analysis as well as an analysis of his sperm DNA fragmentation. The DNA fragmentation evaluation is not always included in a standard semen analysis, and studies are now linking an increased percentage of fragmentation to recurrent miscarriage rates.
- If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend getting a genetic carrier screen. This genetic test it looks at the genes of each partner. What are genes exactly? They are the building blocks of your DNA, the instructions inside each cell that contain the blueprint for making who you are. Each parent contributes half of their genetic material to their child, so if you know the genetic background of each parent, you can infer the potential genetic makeup of their children. Read more about genetic carrier screening here.
If you have had two or more miscarriages, it’s time to see your OBGYN or a fertility specialist. Your OBGYN will be able to order basic blood work and discuss the common causes of pregnancy loss. If you are 35 or older, or your pregnancies took more than six months to conceive, it may be advisable to go straight to a fertility specialist to discuss a broader range of treatment options. Read more about recurrent miscarriages in our Q&A with Dr. Meera Shah.