According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, with studies revealing that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. After this heartbreaking experience, how can anyone expect an expectant mother to trust that the next pregnancy is going to be all right?
Here is advice from Traditional Chinese Medicine birthing practitioner on ways to have a healthy twin pregnancy after miscarriage :
Shawna, 31, tried to conceive after having delivered a stillborn baby at 38 weeks. When she did not get pregnant in a year, she went straight to a fertility clinic for help. Soon after, she came to me for acupuncture to balance her hormones, reduce her stress and symptoms of depression. We worked on pre-conception health in order to increase her chances of conceiving a healthy baby.
A year later, she became pregnant with twins by combining in-vitro fertilization (fertilization in a petri dish) with eastern medicine. Instead of joy, she found it difficult to fully embrace her pregnancy in fear of another loss.
It didn’t help matters that her doctor told her she was high risk for pre-term labor which may lead to low birth weights and developmental delays for the babies.
She found herself worrying about every pregnancy symptom or lack thereof. She would stress about every twinge in her abdomen, or oppositely, she would panic if her breasts didn’t feel sore every minute of every day.
If you have had difficulty conceiving or had a miscarriage, you can’t help but worry once you become pregnant. Although research shows that stress can impact fetal development increasing pre-term labor, it is better not to stress about being stressed. The truth is, you don’t have to be stress-free in order to have healthy babies. It’s more important to acknowledge your stress and find ways to handle it so it can have a positive impact on your overall health towards a healthy labor and delivery.
Here is some advice to soften the impacts of stress in your life for a healthier pregnancy:
1. Create your community of support now. This may include your partner, family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and anyone else you can recruit to be part of your team to help you thrive. Instead of you doing it all (and I know you can) ask your husband to do things such as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Instead of taking on extra projects at work, this is the time to nourish your body and soul in preparation to receive the lives growing within you.
2. Keep yourself in a happy bubble. Stay away from bad news. Read funny books or watch funny shows. Laughter increases the relaxation response and may lighten your stress load during pregnancy.
3. Sleep. Give yourself permission to rest, nap, and do not overwork. Most of your energy is focused on fetal development so don’t push yourself, conserve and recharge your energy. If you can’t sleep through the night because you have to urinate, don’t sweat it. It won’t be detrimental and think of it as training ground for when the babies come. Get sleep where and when you can.
4. Connect with people you love. Plan date nights with your partner even if it means at home (since you’re tired and pregnant). You can even have a phone date or in-person visit with a close friend.
5. Limit yourself to 30 minutes of electronic devices. Reading and knowing more often gives you more reasons to worry and increase your stress especially when you find contradictory information.
6. Go for acupuncture. Acupuncture is safe, drug free, and has been used for thousands of years to help pregnant women reduce stress and increase blood flow to their wombs. It helps pregnancy related symptoms such as, nausea, vomiting, back pains, headaches to name a few.
7. You don’t have to be perfect or eat perfectly to have healthy babies. If you ate really well while trying to conceive, don’t fret if you are unable to continue to do so first trimester. Try eating small amounts of protein or fruit every one to two hours to maintain your blood sugar level and prevent nausea. If all you can stomach is bread and crackers, don’t worry. You can get away with it first trimester because your body is working hard using these fast carbohydrate sugars to build super highways (blood vessels and placenta). You may be tired but your babies can grow, thrive and get enough nutrients. You can place more emphasis on eating right in the second and third trimesters.
8. Redirecting your thoughts. If you find yourself in your head and worrying about your pregnancy, acknowledge your thoughts. Consider that your thoughts are just thoughts, and not ‘the truth’. Close your eyes. Notice and thank your thoughts. Then focus on your breath. Notice where your tension is with these thoughts and then breathe into the tension and say to yourself, ‘my thoughts and worries are not the truth.’ Breathe out and allow your tension to melt away. Repeat until your tension releases.
Shawna followed my advice trying not to sweat the small stuff and focused one day at a time. She continued with acupuncture treatments throughout her whole pregnancy and ended up delivering 2 bouncing baby girls at 37 weeks (full term twin pregnancy). Both Edith and Stella were born over 6 pounds each healthy and thriving.
Although acupuncture is very beneficial, if you don’t have access, breathe now. You can still have a healthy twin pregnancy to term by following the above advice. Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy journey!
Written by Mary Wong Author of Pathways to Pregnancy: Personal Stories and Practical Advice for Your Fertility Journey
About the Author
Mary Wong, B.Sc., R.TCMP, R.Ac, is the founder of ALIVE Holistic Health Clinic based in downtown Toronto, Canada. A TCM practitioner and Registered Massage therapist, Mary has been in practice for over 20 years and has treated thousands