The researchers found that underweight women were 72% more likely to miscarry in the first trimester. However, women who took vitamin supplements during early pregnancy reduced their risk by around 50%, with the effect being most pronounced among those taking folic acid or iron and multivitamins, which contain these. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables daily or on most days was also found to halve the odds of miscarriage and, in a finding that will delight pregnant women everywhere, the consumption of chocolate was also found to be associated with lower risk.
There were a number of other interesting new findings. If a woman was not married or living with a partner, her risk of miscarriage was higher. If she had changed partner (for example, after having been pregnant before by a previous partner), her odds increased by 60%. If she had had a previous termination, the odds of subsequent miscarriage appeared to rise by more than 60%, while fertility problems were associated with 41% increased odds. All types of assisted reproduction were associated with increased odds, but the ratios were highest among pregnancies resulting from intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination.
Women who described their pregnancy as 'planned' had 40% reduced odds of miscarriage. But within this group, those who took more than a year to conceive were twice as likely to miscarry as those who had conceived within three months.
The authors found confirmation for the widely-held belief that morning sickness is an indicator that the pregnancy is progressing well. Women who suffered from nausea and sickness in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy were almost 70% less likely to miscarry, and the more severe the sickness, the better the odds of the pregnancy continuing.
MEDICA.de; Source: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine