Ask the TriHealth Expert: Pregnancy loss study

Ask the TriHealth Experts (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) - A report released from the National Institutes of Health has important news for women who may have struggled with a recent pregnancy.

The report was one of the first of it's kind to look at how soon a woman should get pregnant again after losing a baby, especially early in a pregnancy. It turns out trying to conceive soon after a pregnancy loss may actually increase the chances of having a healthy baby. That was unlike previous advice which said wait at least three months due to concerns about the mother re-building up the need for a nutrient found in green, leafy vegetables called folate or folic acid. Pregnant women need more of that nutrient from supplements.

Folic acid prevents birth defects such as Spina Bifida, which impacts a baby's brain, spine and limbs. But what the study showed was that it didn't seem to have an impact and actually patients have a better chance of getting pregnant soon after the loss than waiting after three months, or three to six months, as the original recommendation had been.

Dr. Regina Whitfield Kekessi said the study confirms, "That since woman often have an easy time getting pregnant again in the first few months after a pregnancy loss there is no need to delay for fear of losing another baby."

Based on the new study then, what kind of advice would Dr. Kekessi give patients who had had say an early loss in one pregnancy?

"It certainly would be a nice summary to give to them to encourage them that all is not lost with this recent miscarriage. And hopefully would encourage them to try with the next cycle."

The study applies to women who've experienced a loss, without known complications, at less than 20 weeks gestation. It found these women have the same chances , if not greater, of having a live birth than those who wait three months or more. The information comes out of a larger NIH study but investigators concentrated on more than 1,000 women who had a pregnancy loss in the first 20 weeks.

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