Miscarriage and work

lappel at eagle.wesleyan.edu lappel at eagle.wesleyan.edu
Thu Jan 13 12:21:11 EST 1994

In article <2h12l1$t0q at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, "" <unknown at dl.ac.uk> writes:
> (much deleted)     . . .you do not
> really ever get over a miscarriage, never mind in just 6 weeks.  Other 
> questions I have revolve around my next pregnancy, when it occurs.  I will
> now be completely paranoid, and I worry about sitting in front of a computer
> all day.    (more deleted)
>  I have a lot of fears and concerns relating
> to my next pregnancy, so any advice at all would be appreciated.  I think
> sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, because as a biologist I
> understand the millions of events that must go exactly right to end up with
> a baby, and I never took it for granted that getting pregnant means you are
> having a baby, as many of my non-scientist friends do.
> -Maureen
>  mcolbert at genetics.com

Dear Maureen:
	Of course you never get over a miscarriage, just as you never get over
the loss of a child who was born.  But a single miscarriage should not give you
great worries about future pregnancies.  People don't talk about it much, since
it's such a private issue and so laden with worry and grief, but miscarriages
are VERY common.  I've heard numbers higher than one in ten.  Of course, with
over the counter tests, more are being picked up these days, and fewer are
written off as just "late", but it really is very common.  
	When a friend of mine was told by her OB after a miscarriage "Oh, we
don't take it seriously until you've had Three" she was shocked, and found his
response crass, but there is truth to it.  Lots of random events, most
involving chromosomal abnormalities, can cause a single miscarriage without
predisposing you to others, and most women who have miscarriages are able to
carry their next conception to term. (That friend now has a 4 yr old.)
	There are situations that can predispose you to more miscarriages, but
they are much rarer.  In the meantime, take good care of yourself (both mind 
and body) and relax. (There's always time to worry later, if you need to.)
	And remember: arcane and undependable as the system looks, the more you
study it, making healthy babies is basic goal of evolution.  If that doesn't
work, the rest is pointless.  So, on the whole, it does!
	Laurel F. Appel
	Dept. of Biology
	Wesleyan University
	Middletown, CT  06459

More information about the Womenbio mailing list