The Indian guru Osho once stated that, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” However, pregnancy can be a long and stressful road with many turns and tribulations.
According to the CDC, it is estimated that in the United States, there are an estimated 3.9 MILLION pregnancies which occur yearly. Even though pregnancy can be an exciting time, not all end happily. An estimated 15% to 20% of these pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
These statistics can be stressed during this time of the year as October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, which serves to acknowledge the struggles that are associated with bringing a bundle of joy into the world. Eighty percent of miscarriages occur within the first trimester, which can be a helpful marker for some and anxiety inducing for others.
In terms of conceiving, it is noted that as many as 75% of fertilized eggs do not go on to result in a full-term pregnancy. This then relates to the only about 30% of women getting pregnant each menstrual cycle, even when a couple is actively attempting to conceive. Because of this, scientists believe that around 70% to 75% of attempted conceptions end up null. These may seem like frustrating statistics, but it may be comforting to know that those going through these difficult times are definitely not alone.
The causes of miscarriages are constantly questioned. Many believe that about half of
miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities, making these problems the single most common miscarriage cause. Most of these chromosomal abnormalities are considered random occurrences and were not inherited from parents. It is common for the abnormalities to be aneuploidies, commonly known as an incorrect number of chromosomes, having either an extra chromosome or absent chromosome. Another common factor in miscarriage is the mother’s age.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, notes that the number of miscarriages in the first trimester heavily increases as a woman ages. The study states that from ages twenty to thirty, there is a 9 to 17 percent miscarriage rate, while the rate reaches eighty percent after the age of 45. Although chromosomal problems tend to be the most common, other occurrences which may affect a pregnancy negatively could be: smoking, infection, drug misuse, abnormal shape of a womb, coagulopathy, etc.
On a positive note, if a woman has already had a child, the risk of miscarriage a second time would be only five percent. There are also factors many people may believe causes miscarriage but don’t such as: depression, shock, sex, spicy foods, lifting, etc.
When a spouse loses their partner, they are called a widow. When a parent loses a child, there are no words for them. In a society that does not openly talk about the loss of children, October shines a light to the voiceless. Many families don’t know where to turn when the loss of a child occurs. It is so important to seek counsel in friends and through programs in your community. If there are none available, look into creating one! No one deserves to suffer in silence.