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How Improper Nutrition Leads To Miscarriage?


In previous article, we had learnt that there are many factors that increases the risks of miscarriage, including nutrition related factors. Today, we will focus on how improper nutrition increases the risks of miscarriage. 

Improper nutrition, for instance, includes obesity, excessive alcohol & caffeine, uncontrolled diabetes, severely hypertension (high blood pressure) and certain type of food poisoning greatly link to miscarriage.


1. Obesity
It has a massive impact on fertility. It links to other metabolism diseases like diabetes and hypertension which also negatively impact fertility.
Tip: Remember to have proper family planning and shed off the extra weight before pregnancy. Engage with healthy eating and an active lifestyle!



2. Excessive Alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake increases the risk by changing the body’s hormone patterns and reducing the quality of implantation. The risk is still the same regardless of the type of alcohol consumed (beer, vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, wine etc.).
Tip: Avoid alcohol intake throughout pregnancy period, replace with other similar beverages, example wine to grape juice, beer to non-alcoholic beer.



3. Excessive Caffeine
Women who consume excessive caffeine – more than 200 mg per day (two or more cups of regular coffee) have twice the risk as compared to those who do not consume.
Caffeine can cross through the placenta to the fetus. This creates a burden to the fetus, because it cannot metabolize the caffeine properly. The caffeine affects the cell development, decreased placental blood flow, resulting adverse effects on the fetal development.
Tip: Drink not more than two cups a day. Consider switching to decaffeinated coffee too, it tastes just as similar to the caffeinated one!



4.  Uncontrolled Diabetes
In all women with pre-existing diabetes mellitus, there is a 9-14% rate of miscarriage. Uncontrolled blood sugar control has been shown to double the miscarriage rate in women with diabetes.
Tip: Watch your carbohydrate (sugar, sweetened drinks, pastries, fruits, rice, noodles etc.) and saturated fat (deep fried food, pastries, fast food, processed food etc.) portions. Refer to your dietitian for a personalized plan. 



5. Severely Hypertension
Researches have proven that women with high blood pressure before pregnant increase risk of miscarriage too.
Tip: Practice a low salt diet and exercise regularly to regulate your blood pressure at a healthy level.



6. Food Poisoning
Certain food poisoning, caused by eating contaminated food also increases risk of miscarriage; salmonella & toxoplasma from raw meat shellfish & raw, listeria from contaminated food & unpasteurized dairy products.
Tip: Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking and eating, whilst consuming all food that is well cooked, stay away from raw food! 



Article written by:
Dietitian Christabelle Chong
Registered Member of Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA)


Related article:
What do you need to know about Miscarriage (Part 1)


𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐍𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭 & 𝐃𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧. 𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.






1. Kareem, Y. (2018).What to Do If You Get Food Poisoning While Pregnant. Retrieved https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/food-poisoning#causes 


2. Lashen, H., Fear, K., & Sturdee, D. W. (2004). Obesity is associated with increased risk of first trimester and recurrent miscarriage: matched case–control study. Human reproduction, 19(7), 1644-1646. 


3. Lisa, R. (2018).Slightly high blood pressure before pregnancy tied to miscarriage risk. Retrieved https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1H91LW


4. NHS (2018). Overview Miscarriage. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/  


5. Thomas, R.M. (2020).Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy. Retrievedhttps://emedicine.medscape.com/article/127547-overview#:~:text=In%20all%20women%20with%20preexisting,rate%20in%20women%20with%20diabetes. 


6. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020). Miscarriage risk increases each week alcohol is used in early pregnancy. Retrieved https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200810102430.htmhttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200810102430.htm 


7. Weng, X., Odouli, R., & Li, D. K. (2008). Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 198(3), 279-e1.

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