April 08, 2010,
D.V. asks from Carroll, IA on April 07, 2010
Daughter and Miscarriage
My daughter had a miscarriage recently at about 7wks. she is an avid exerciser runs half marathons does aerobics and leads classes and is a vegetarian, during her pregnancy she had low hcg levels and I was wondering if extreme exercise and being vegetarian would be a risk factor or would be tied to low hcg levels. Concerned mom.
So What Happened?™
This was very recent about 4wks ago and replying to what someone wrote about don't blame her I would never blame her I was just concerned for her and wondered if anyone had been told by a Dr. if that could be the cause. In answer to the what happened she is now down to normal hcg levels and is waiting for her first period to try and get pregnant again. I have left this one in God's hands he knows what is best and will bless her with her own child if it is His will. Thanks everyone for your comments they are helpful.
H.J. answers from Minneapolis on April 07, 2010
Try to remember that a lot of pregnancies are lost even before they are known. Something like 30% of pregnancy end in early miscarriage. She is actually very lucky to be in such great shape. I have even known a few moms that have continued to run marathons well into their second trimester! Her OB will probably mention it but being a vegetarian she does need to keep an eye out on her Iron levels and folic acid levels, along with watching her fish intake if she does choose to eat fish. But being on a vegetarian diet should do any harm.
J.T. answers from Dallas on April 07, 2010
no, neither of those things would contribute to a miscarriage. most OBs will tell you not to start a rigorous exercise regiment after conceiving, but you can certainly maintain a rigorous workout routine if your body is already accustomed to it. please don't suggest to your daughter that she caused this miscarriage - it is untrue and would be very hurtful.
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K.S. answers from Minneapolis on April 08, 2010
I had a friend that was crazy for running. The things that woman suffered through just for the love of a marathon was inconceivable to me but she clearly loved it.
Anyhooo....She suffered several miscarriages. Anywhere from 6-14 weeks. At first the doctors did not advise her to change her routines. But by the 3rd one, they did. Said keep things down to walking and nothing more impactful.
So, though as a mom you want to find a way to prevent your daughter from ever having to suffer another miscarriage...Wait on these two particular things as there is no reason yet to think that they were the cause.
As to vegetarianism. Often such a diet can cause lower body fat (healthy) but a diet lower in fat (animal fat) also acts as a natural deterrent to fertility (that's a little bit of trivia stuck in my head from college anthropology). So, the fact that she got pregnant means she is clearly managing a very healthy and balanced vegetarian diet and so it doesn't seem to be a factor for now either.
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on April 07, 2010
I agree with Jennifer T - neither of those factors should have contributed to her miscarriage.
My degree is in biology, and what most people don't know is that 1/2 of all pregnancies naturally abort - most before the mother even knows she's pregnant. Unfortunately, there can be issues with the baby developmentally that the body recognizes and naturally aborts the child.
I know it's difficult psychologically for your daughter, and I hope she doesn't blame herself or her lifestyle. Hopefully, her OB/GYN has reaffirmed that her miscarriage was likely due to genetic or natural factors and had nothing to do with her.
Coping is a very personal thing - no one can tell you how to cope or grieve appropriately. I was really irritated with people who told me how I needed to cope when diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemo after the birth of my second child.
I hope you all find peace soon and are able to celebrate a new baby again.
D.M. answers from Denver on April 07, 2010
Sounds like she's in good shape - and if anything this would help! Sometimes miscarriages just happen - sounds just like mine (1st pregnancy). I was pregant again soon and had two healthy babies! Just support her. I remember how hard it was, and natural it is to blame myself. My biggest learning was that I am NOT in control... still learning that one.
E.H. answers from Portland on April 07, 2010
First, let me tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I know how difficult that can be, as I too lost a baby during pregnancy. It is truly a loss for the entire family.
Her low HcG level was much more likely a symptom that the baby was not viable, than a cause of the miscarriage. With a healthy pregnancy, the hormone level will double every few days. However, after a baby dies, this rise will slow down, level off, and then drop as the mom's body begins to recognize the baby is not alive. It happens over days or weeks sometimes.
My thoughts are with you and your daughter. I can tell you that it does get easier over time. The pain may never go away, but it does get a little easier.
N.F. answers from Seattle on April 07, 2010
Jennifer T. is right on point about exercise. I had a miscarriage about 2 years ago and every doctor has told me that they believe(theorize) it to be something to do with the chromosomes and not lining up properly... but to this day there is still no definite reason as to why woman have miscarriages. If the baby will not survive on its own outside of the womb, or the body detects something wrong, it naturally rejects it. It's very sad but at the same time you have to accept it because life would have been more difficult and feel more cruel. The one thing I said to myself to help get through it is: Everything happens for a reason. Whether the reason be revealed now or later, it was in my best interest.
I don't know how far along she was, but I was 12 weeks when I had mine. If she has any questions she can go to some websites like http://www.babycenter.com or http://www.parents.com and find Q & A's, forums and articles about miscarriages, how to cope and conceiving after having a miscarriage and so on. It helped me out a lot, but if she needs someone to talk to who has experienced it... she contact me no problem.
Just keep being supportive and sensitive of her. A wound like this will heal on the outside, but never heal on the inside. Make sure she has someone she can talk to about this (whether it be you, her partner or a counselor) and encourage her to express her feelings happy or sad or angery.
My deepest regards!
H.M. answers from Omaha on April 08, 2010
I am vegan, a way more severe form of Veggie, I have a 4 month old boy laying in my lap. Most all of my friends are veggies or vegans and all of them pretty much have children. So no being a veggie doesn't cause miscarriages.
Oh and I had 3 miscarriages before I had my 7 year old boy. I was told that 90% of first trimester miscarriages are from chromosonal abnormalities, the rest trauma typically. Oh and 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriages. Of course there are alot of chemical pregnancies but we didn't know about those till people started taking pregnancy tests that gave result 5 day before missed period.
So this one miscarriage means nothing. Doctor's won't even intervene or bother with testing till there has been 3. That is how common they are. So it has nothing to do with what she has done. And please don't even SUGGEST that she caused this. She's already going through every single day moment by moment thinking she caused this when she didn't.
M.C. answers from Dallas on April 07, 2010
Actually, both exercise and being vegetarian will probably help her--but, as others have pointed out, miscarriages are WAY more common than most people know (which I think is too bad--it's always a tragedy when it happens, but only after I had mine did I learn that SO MANY women I know have been through the same thing and we just don't talk about it--which is too bad!). I'm now 36 weeks pregnant with my second child--had one miscarriage between the two, at 9 wks. I was not vegetarian for my first pregnancy, but am now, and am having WAY fewer complications--my OB attributes this to my diet change; vegetarian diets (done well) are usually much healthier, and healthier is better for having a successful pregnancy. You get plenty of folic acid from fruits and veggies, and can get a lot of iron, too (my sister, who is not vegetarian, is currently pregnant and anemic--I'm not). As for exercise, I asked my OB about whether I should stop yoga for my first trimester--as my instructor recommended--and he said that I should continue whatever exercise I was doing before, and it would NOT cause a miscarriage. He said my yoga studio was probably concerned about liability issues--that I would blame them if I had a miscarriage--but my dr. was clear that continuing the exercise I was already doing would help, not hurt--there is always a 30%-40% chance of miscarriage, but the healthier and in better shape you are, the better the whole thing is likely to work.
I'm very sorry for you and your daughter's loss, and will pray for your family as you get through this. Even knowing the risks (I'm 36 years old, first pregnancy was high risk, and tried again knowing that things might not go well), I was caught off guard by how devastated I was. But your daughter will get through, and hopefully try again.