Watch Out for Toxins
Dr. Scher notes that while environmental factors are often a great concern and cause of guilt for parents when they suffer a miscarriage, studies are inconclusive about the connection between specific environmental factors and pregnancy loss or recurrent miscarriage. "We cannot control many factors, other than doing our best to curb certain social habits and known toxins," Dr. Scher says. He recommends avoiding toxins from cigarette smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, extreme heat (from saunas and hot tubs), and caffeine. He also notes women should be aware of workplace pollutants and avoid them whenever possible.
Dr. Cole points out the importance of seeing prenatal and postnatal risks from the baby's point of view. "When a child comes to us it is because there is a problem," he says. "The NICU doesn't represent a normal outcome. The best strategy for parents is to prevent the problem to the degree possible, and that takes some planning."