Fortunately, the majority of all pregnancies proceed harmoniously and largely without problems. However, it is also a fact that in a certain percentage of all pregnancies complications occur that can potentially lead to premature birth or miscarriage. This affects both perfectly "healthy" women and those who belong to a certain risk group, e.g.B. diabetics, alcoholics, etc.
IIn some cases, it is not possible to clearly determine how the miscarriage or premature birth could have occurred. Experts assume, however, that predominantly health/medical problems or the influence of external factors (for example infections) are responsible for it. Stress and traumatic experiences from a previous pregnancy can also have an unfavorable effect on the course of pregnancy.
Miscarriages and premature births can be prevented in the rarest cases. In a sense, they are a "natural" sign from the female body that it is currently unable to adequately care for the unborn child or hold it long enough. Therefore, prevention is a priority, especially for at-risk groups. Those who are at increased risk should contact the gynecologist or midwife in charge of their care. In an honest discussion, the chances and risks can be discussed with regard to the individual situation and any fears can be dispelled.
A miscarriage is when the fetus leaves the mother’s body at an early stage of pregnancy. Here There are two types of miscarriage: early and late. If a woman loses her baby by the time she is 16 months pregnant. If the baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is a very early miscarriage. If the miscarriage occurs after 17. takes place in the second week of pregnancy, this is called late abortion. A miscarriage is a sad event and it is usually difficult for fathers and mothers to come to terms with this experience.
The number of women who suffer a miscarriage each year cannot be clearly determined, but it is estimated that, that 15-20% of all pregnancies are affected by it. The symptoms of a miscarriage are similar to those of menstruation. The discharge is bloody, sometimes interspersed with tissue fragments. Sometimes there is also cramping in the abdomen.
However, the abortion is often not even consciously perceived or noticed. This is especially the case when the miscarriage occurs at a very early stage of pregnancy and the woman may not even know she is pregnant yet. Many women do not realize that they have had a miscarriage until they are examined by a gynecologist. During an ultrasound examination, the doctor will determine whether the miscarriage has completely gone away or whether a Scraping the uterus (curettage) is necessary. This procedure is performed under anesthesia or sometimes under general anesthesia. From a medical point of view, this is a routine procedure; nevertheless, it is emotionally very stressful for the women concerned,
How does miscarriage occur?
Not all causes of miscarriage are completely clarified. However, there are some factors that can be associated with a possible miscarriage or increase the likelihood of a miscarriage. These include:
- Previous miscarriages and/or traumatic experiences during previous births or pregnancies
- Massive consumption of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or drugs
- Benign adhesions in the uterus (fibroids) (z.B. Rubella) or chlamydia infection
- Presence of certain medical conditions in the mother: diabetes, kidney or thyroid diseases, autoimmune diseases, blood clotting problems, etc.a.
- Severe hormonal imbalance
- Stress or sudden shock (z.B. death in the family, separation from the partner)
As mentioned above, miscarriage is difficult to prevent or predict. Pregnant women can, however, change their lifestyle in terms of stress, rest and nutrition, and increase the number of preventive examinations if they belong to a certain risk group.
Premature birth occurs when the baby is born a considerable time before the expected date of birth. In a normal pregnancy, babies are born between the 38th week of pregnancy. and 42. Week of pregnancy. At this point they are fully mature. If the baby remains in the mother’s womb for more than 24 weeks, but less than 37 weeks, this is called premature birth. The chance of survival for babies born very young, affectionately known as premature babies, is nowadays good to very good in most cases. However, whether and what permanent damage a child will suffer depends on its birth weight and the stage of development of the organs at the time of premature birth. If any signs of premature birth are detected in time, premature labor can be stopped by taking medication. Moreover, in such a case, the development of the lungs of the unborn child is promoted, because they are only formed in the 24. Maturation during the first week of pregnancy.
Babies who are in a particular hurry can see the light of day naturally or by Caesarean section. This depends largely on the mother’s state of health as well as potential birth risks and is usually decided together with the attending physician.
Possible triggers of a premature birth
There are common causes of premature birth as well as individual triggers due to the physical condition of the mother or the unborn baby. Only rarely can an exact trigger for the premature birth be determined. When experts indicate certain causes, these are always risk factors. This means that these circumstances can lead to a premature birth, but this does not necessarily have to be the case.
Common risk factors include:
- Excessive physical stress z.B. heavy lifting, sports
- Age of the pregnant woman is below 18 or above 35
- Massive nutrient deficiency or undersupply of the mother and the child
- Previous miscarriage or premature birth
- The pregnant woman suffers from severe underweight
- Serious diseases of the mother, for example, diabetes, thyroid or kidney disorders, preeclampsia, metabolic disorders
- Massive consumption of nicotine during pregnancy
Other triggers for premature birth:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Preterm labor
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Myomas in the uterus
Consequences of a premature birth
Babies who are born a few weeks early are not fully mature and are therefore even more sensitive than children who have had enough time to grow in the womb. After birth, babies receive special care – depending on the week they are born and their health conditions. They are under constant control and observation. This happens in the intensive care unit for newborns. Many babies are placed in an incubator. There, heart sounds and breathing are monitored and the warmth of the mother’s abdomen is simulated.
Support for those affected
Miscarriages or premature births are a major event in the lives of expectant parents and are often associated with painful experiences or anxiety. Some parents feel desperate, others can handle the situation better. For affected parents, one thing above all else is to accept the assistance offered. This could be working through a miscarriage in a support group or talking to a therapist. In the event of a premature birth, a trained hospital care team is available to assist parents.