According to a new study, as many as 25 percent of miscarriages may have been avoided, had moms-to-be gained a little more or a little less weight, exercised a little more or a little less, and/or hadn’t been over 30.
Well OK then. Seriously, why do studies like this even exist? Scientists at the University of Copenhagen studied over 90,000 pregnancies over the course of several years and found that being pregnant while underweight or obese, drinking excessively, overworking your body, or just being old could significantly increase the risk of miscarriage.
The same study concluded that none of those factors actually caused miscarriage, despite finding that “if women were able to cut these risk factors to very low levels, 25 percent of miscarriages could be prevented.”
Got it? Being old and fat doesn’t cause miscarriage, but being young and healthy may prevent it. Fine line, if you ask me.
Anyway, what exactly is the point of this? All it seems to do is shame women that have had miscarriages into blaming themselves. Trust me when I say that women who have miscarried are already blaming themselves -- they don’t need “science” to help.
There are always going to be some risk factors when you’re pregnant. You are growing another human being, for Pete’s sake -- the potential complications are endless.
It doesn’t mean it’s your fault if you miscarry because you didn’t follow the perfect pregnancy rules. Lots of obese people have healthy babies. Lots of 40-year-olds have healthy babies. Lots of gym rats have healthy babies.
You’re never going to be able to follow every “rule” when you’re pregnant, if for no other reason than some are contradictory. Some say drink a little wine for the health of your child, others say abstain completely. Will eating peanuts while pregnant cause or prevent a peanut allergy?
Then there are things you can’t control that may really up your chances of miscarrying. I got pregnant once upon a time on the pill. I stopped taking it when I found out, but a little over a month later, I miscarried. That was over a decade ago, and you know what? Part of me STILL blames myself for being on the damn pill and wonders how my life would be different if I had that child.
I’m rational enough in my head to know it wasn’t my fault. Stuff happens. Sometimes contraceptives don’t work. But I don’t need no stinkin’ study telling me that something I had no control over after the fact may have caused my miscarriage.
Have you ever miscarried? Did you blame yourself in part at least?
Image via Summerbl4ck/Flickr