Miscarriage + Loss
Miscarriage + Pregnancy Loss
Miscarriage, also known as pregnancy loss, is a spontaneous and typically unexpected loss of a pregnancy before the baby can survive outside of the womb.
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Medical terms are at odds with the way most (though not all) women experience such loss. Scientifically, the baby is called an embryo or a fetus, and the miscarriage is referred to as an abortion. But, to most pregnant women, this is a personal loss that causes emotional grief, anxiety, depression, guilt, and self-blame. For the record, self-blame is totally unnecessary.
How many pregnancies end in miscarriage? Estimates suggest that up to 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, though many before a woman knows she’s pregnant. You can join the 1 in 4 community on Instagram.
Signs of Miscarriage
There are a few warning signs that you can look out for. Many pregnant women panic when they notice bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy.
Call your doctor if you experience red bleeding, but don’t panic. There are many reasons bleeding can occur during pregnancy that don’t result in pregnancy loss.
There are many potential causes of bleeding in early pregnancy, including implantation bleeding, subchorionic hematoma, and more.
Symptoms can include any or all of the following:
- light spotting to heavy bleeding
- back pain
- blood clots
A potential sign can be loss of regular pregnancy symptoms, but pregnancy symptoms themselves are not directly associated with miscarriage. Pregnancy symptoms may also regulate due to hormonal changes, and some women experience pregnancy with no symptoms at all.
There are a few causes that can induce a miscarriage, but Undefining Motherhood wants to be clear on one main point first: the miscarrying mother is not at fault. Exercising, drinking coffee, going to work, or having sex do not induce miscarriages.
Rather, miscarriages are almost always caused by genetic or physiological circumstances.
- Fetal genetic abnormalities: sometimes, during conception, chromosomes don’t work together to form a baby that can survive outside the womb
- Physical anomalies within the mother’s body: things like uterine abnormalities, blood clots, pools of blood in the gestational sac, major autoimmune disorders, et cetera
- Extreme trauma: car accidents and other tragic events that injure the womb
Note that trauma must be extreme. Many women endure experiences like bad car accidents and still carry a successful pregnancy. Research estimates that 50% of miscarriages are caused by genetic fetal abnormalities.
The Truth About Pregnancy Loss
Miscarriage is a tragic event that affects millions of women and their partners. At Undefining Motherhood, we want you to feel like you can openly talk about your loss and get to know other mothers who share similar experiences.
You are not alone!