**This post mentions miscarriage and how to reduce your chances of it occurring. If you are sensitive to this topic, please pass on reading until you feel comfortable – thank you!**
We had a miscarriage 4 months ago (to read my experience click here).And although I had many women offer their deepest sympathies and encourage me to understand that “it wasn’t my fault that this happened,” I wasn’t satisfied with that answer.
If you know me, you know that I am very aware of my body – like freakishly in tune. I guess that comes with the amount of information I know about health and wellness on top of being genuinely curious and attentive. What I am trying to say is that I have a lot of ‘gut feelings’ about things. So when I had the gut feeling that, “it wasn’t my fault I miscarried, it just happens, there’s nothing you can do about it,” I got that icky feeling in my gut that that wasn’t true.
At the time I didn’t know how else I could have prevented a miscarriage, but I knew there had to be ways to at least lower the risk. As I researched and came up with ideas of how to improve my health and decrease the risk of miscarriage, I was met with a lot of resistence. Friends telling me to just ‘stop worrying about it and let it be” or my favorite, “quit trying to control everything.”
And I get it, they were merely trying to keep my head above water and make sure I didn’t drown myself in research, overwhelm, and anxiety. But listen friends, I’m just trying to take responsibility of my own health and that of my family. Is that such a sin?
I put my faith in the power of knowledge, awareness, accountability, and partnership with my body. I knew that with these tools, I could make a powerful impact on my health and learn to trust my body again. I know this because I’ve done it.
I’m tired of hearing about the excuses of, “well my doctor said…” or “I can just take this pill…” Enough of this, “I was dealt shitty genes and there’s nothing I can do about it.” NO! We CAN (and should) take full responsibility of our health and well being! We might not get to choose your genes, but we get to choose the lifestyle we live and food we eat.
Here’s why: there is an entire branch of science called epigenetics. According to the dictionary, epigentics is “the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.” Meaning, WE get to control what genes are expressed by the food we eat, the lifestyle habits we practice, and the environment we are exposed to…
So what does epigenetics have to do with miscarriage?
Many conventional doctors will claim there’s nothing one can do about the chances of miscarriage. They will often reassure that ‘it’s really common and happens to a lot couples’ or ‘it just wasn’t supposed to happen right now.” Which is all great, it makes us feel good and completely rids us of any responsibility we might have had in the matter.
When we miscarried about 4 months ago, of course I thought I did something wrong and that it was my fault. Were those super productive thoughts? No. But I did feel deep down in my gut that I can have a better effect on the outcome of whether or not I miscarried again. Because if you’ve every experienced the tragic loss of a miscarriage, you NEVER EVER want to go through it again…
And so I did what any woman recovering from a miscarriage (or trying to get pregnant) would do – I researched. And I found that there’s actually a lot you can do to improve the chance of getting pregnant. And a lot of it involved improving egg quality.
You Can Improve the Quality of Your Egg
If you recall a previous post we wrote about the common causes of miscarriage and how to prevent them (click here to read more), the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal damage of the egg.
The egg actually sits dormant in our ovaries all of our life until about three months before it’s ready to ovulate. In those three months before it’s ready to ovulate, it is exposed to everything that we are exposed.
For example if you were working extremely long hours, drinking a lot of coffee, eating a lot of sugar, thinking negative self-talk, exposing yourself to environmental toxins, heating your lunch up in plastic in the microwave, etc. All of which exposes your entire body to oxidative damage, including that egg.
Oxidative damage is the result of oxidative free radicals far outweighing the antioxidants in our body. Oxidative damage leads to DNA damage, tissue breakdown, disease, and cancer.
So it makes sense that if oxidative damage to the egg is the leading cause of miscarriage, then by reducing oxidative damage by simple lifestyle, nutrition and environmental changes, we would inherently reduce the risk of miscarriage.
I started looking at the things in my life I had control over, the things I could change to make my lifestyle less stressful, more natural and less toxic. I won’t lie, I felt the same way you likely do; overwhelmed with all the things I needed to address, but I took it one step at a time.
And with each step I found that I felt healthier, looked better, and thought clearer than ever. Our bodies have a funny way of making the worst symptoms some of the best things that’s ever happened to us. For me, I learned that I over-stressed, over-trained, over-burdened, and more prone to disease with and had incentive to make these changes. And for that, I’m grateful.
Perhaps you are still recovering from a miscarriage like I am, or perhaps you are ready to conceive like yesterday, I hope this post gave you hope that you CAN improve the chances of pregnancy in the future.
Are you ready to start or expand your family? Consider talking with your doctor to see what steps you can take to start living a healthier preconception phase that’s right for you.