More parents are sharing their stories of miscarriage openly, which is a good thing. This heartbreaking event has been a taboo topic for too long. Misconceptions are still common regarding pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Understanding the truth behind miscarriage myths may be helpful, whether you’ve experienced miscarriage yourself or simply want to learn more.
Miscarriage Is Rare
Considering how little most people talk about miscarriage, this event is surprisingly common. An estimated 10%-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, with many of these occurring before parents realized they were expecting at all. If you have a miscarriage, you are far from alone
Drinking Coffee Caused My Miscarriage
Pregnancy comes with a lot of dietary restrictions. Many people play it safe during pregnancy, which is fine, but that doesn’t mean you can control your pregnancy’s outcome with what you put on your plate.
The most recent research suggests that moderate caffeine consumption doesn’t affect the fetus. About 200 milligrams of caffeine, or a 12-oz coffee, is just fine. You may have had caffeine the day before you miscarried, but the chances are vanishingly slim that the peppermint mocha “caused” you to lose the baby.
Stress Caused My Miscarriage
Okay, an important caveat here. Stress can trigger your body to release hormones that could lead to a miscarriage. The key consideration is how to define “stress.”
A rough commute, anxious thoughts about whether you’re ready to become a parent, or a fight with your spouse isn’t going to make you miscarry. There is some research to indicate that exceptionally high stress levels (like going through a divorce or bankruptcy, or the death of a family member) may contribute toward a miscarriage.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help. But definitely don’t think for a minute that wishing you weren’t pregnant while you hunched over the toilet for the fourth time that day made your body reject the pregnancy.
Sex (or Birth Control) Caused My Miscarriage
Sensing a pattern? The truth is, the vast majority of miscarriages happen because of chromosomal abnormalities or other major problems in the embryo’s development. It’s natural to look for something you did wrong that caused the miscarriage to happen. It’s also almost always the case that there wasn’t anything you could have done.
This rule applies to sex and birth control, too. Getting pregnant soon after stopping birth control is fine. Having sex won’t affect a healthy pregnancy. If you have questions about intimacy and pregnancy, ask your doctor.
Miscarriage Only Affects Mothers
There’s a common (and frankly a little bizarre) misconception that mothers bond with their unborn baby as soon as they know they are pregnant, while fathers don’t feel an emotional connection until the baby is born.
First of all, modern medical advances mean some transgender parents (who identify as fathers, or nonbinary parents) can carry a pregnancy. Second, prenatal bonding isn’t limited to the pregnant parent. Many families plan and hope for a pregnancy for months. It’s completely possible, and likely, that expecting dads got just as excited as moms about the positive pregnancy test. And, of course, that they’ll feel the grief of a pregnancy loss just as keenly.
Miscarriage Isn’t Worth Discussing
Miscarriage is a common event that causes a lot of pain and heartache. You’d reach out for support from friends and family if you got sick or lost your job. You have every right to seek comfort and support in the face of this setback, too.
Opening up about your miscarriage does make you vulnerable to insensitive comments from people who don’t understand. But it may also lead to connections with people you never suspected went through the same grief you’re feeling. Finding sympathetic friends and family can make it easier to navigate a difficult time.