Friday, October 11, 2013

Foods That Can Cause Spontaneous Abortion

Being malnourished alone during pregnancy, doesn't lead to spontaneous abortions, premature births, or cause women to lose their babies shortly after birth. In fact, teratogens, lifestyles, consuming the wrong foods or too much of certain foods are all responsible.

The Effects of Malnutrition

In countries ravaged by famine or war, for example, such as Somalia or Rwanda, the effects of malnutrition on child development are obvious. There are usually high rates of miscarriage and failure to thrive. Even in developed societies such as the U.S, a small percentage of all live births have shown indications of fetal malnutrition.  Researchers believe most fetal malnutrition, however, occur in low-income families, simply because during pregnancy, these often economic disadvantaged women cannot afford the right nutrition --- specifically, a balanced diet rich in protein and calcium. In this post however, we will be focusing primarily on some of the foods that are known to cause spontaneous abortion.

A Balance Diet is Important
To minimize the risk of spontaneous abortion, a balance diet is very important. However, it’s equally important that pregnant women also know exactly what foods to avoid.

Foods to Avoid
Excess Vitamins
Ingesting excess amounts of vitamin A, which can become toxic, is not good for the health of a fetus, especially during certain critical stages of development.

Fish with mercury exposure, such as sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, tile fish and others, should be avoided. Even though canned, chunk light tuna has shown to have a lower level of mercury, it still should be eaten in moderation, as it increases the risk of spontaneous abortion.

Other Foods to Avoid
 Any blood borne pathogen that has the ability to cross the placenta may infect an unborn baby. Deli meats for example, have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which has the ability to cross the placenta leading to the infection of a fetus and consequently a miscarriage. It’s therefore recommended that all Deli meats should be reheated to a safe temperature, before eaten (If you are pregnant).

What is Listeriosis
Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium found in soil and water. It can be found on vegetables, meats, and dairy products, as well as in processed foods such as soft cheeses and in cold cuts. Thus, it’s best to always wash all vegetables, avoid unpasteurized dairy products, soft cheeses, and cold cuts; and cook meats to recommended safe minimal internal temperatures, should you ever become pregnant.

Fetal Toxoplasmosis, caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, can also cause spontaneous abortion if a pregnant woman passes toxoplasmosis on to her fetus. You might ask yourself the question, how will this parasite be able to find its way into her body in the first place? Well, the explanation is simple --- If a pregnant woman unconsciously or accidentally places her hands in her mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat’s litter box, or touching anything that has been exposed to cat‘s feces, she can introduce the eggs of this parasite into her body.

There are other foods that can cause miscarriages such as some fish used in sushi bars, raw shell fish, raw eggs and more. Since restaurants don't usually cook or prepare separate dishes for pregnant women, you have to be careful with your selection of food whenever you dine out, or it's best that you try to prepare your own meals.

One final word of advice, because pregnant women usually experience changes in metabolism and circulation which may increase the risk of food poisoning, infections and consequently spontaneous abortion, they should make it their duties to do their own research, just to confirm the following information shared above, and have their health care providers further validate it.

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