Second Trimester Miscarriage
Losing the baby after the first 12 weeks is an excruciating experience. There's a tendency for a mother to feel safe once she's passed the 12 week mark and entered her second trimester. The reason for this is that there is a sharp drop in the rate of miscarriage after this point.
Once a woman enters that crucial 12th week she breathes easy and begins to bond in earnest with the new life growing inside her. But the fact is that even though it's rare for a second trimester miscarriage to occur, they can occur anytime through to the 20th week of gestation. After that, a pregnancy loss is termed a stillbirth.
If a second trimester miscarriage seems devastating to an unimaginable degree, consider the fact that giving birth to a fulltime baby with serious birth defects may be even more devastating and difficult to accept. That may be small comfort if you've just experienced a miscarriage, but it's important to realize that not every pregnancy has a positive outcome. A full one quarter of all women who become pregnant will miscarry. Perhaps even starker is the fact that between 15% and 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, whether in the first or early part of the second trimester.
Miscarriages that occur during the first trimester are most often due to chromosomal anomalies. Many of the factors that contribute to this state of affairs are unavoidable:
1) Mother is older than 35
2) Uterine fibroids (benign, non-cancerous growths which often go undetected since they may cause no noticeable symptoms)
3) Autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the fetus which it has misjudged as a foreign body
4) Recurrent miscarriage (history of two or more miscarriages)
Other factors can be side-stepped:
1) Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as naproxen, Aleve, or Ibuprofen used during early pregnancy
2) Alcohol or drug use in pregnancy
3) Smoking cigarettes
4) Exposure to toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, arsenic, or benzene during pregnancy
5) Heavy caffeine intake during pregnancy
6) Infection or disease during pregnancy
7) Physical trauma during pregnancy
8) Low levels of folic acid may contribute to a woman's risk for miscarriage
While there are many risks, even if a woman should have a second trimester miscarriage it is still almost always possible for her to go on to have a child. You're entitled to your grief, but you're always entitled to your future happiness.