Trying to conceive after a miscarriage is almost as hard as a miscarriage. In many cases it isn’t that difficult to get pregnant again, on the contrary many women get pregnant weeks even days after their loss. It’s that emotionally pregnancy after miscarriage is difficult. You anxiously watch for signs of miscarriage, examine the toilet paper every trip to the bathroom, over analyzing every symptom or lack of symptom until you are entirely crazy. The fact is though, if you’ve only had one miscarriage your chance of having another consecutively is only 13 percent, rainbow babies, the term used to describe a baby after a miscarriage, do happen-a lot. The question is how do you handle the worry while you’re waiting on your rainbow baby to be born?
What are my chances of miscarriage by week?
One you’ve conceived again, those first 12 weeks where the risk of miscarriage is highest can be torture. For me, it helped to see those weeks as stages with small victories. Miscarriage statistics by week are as follows:
Week 1: At this point you wouldn’t even know you were pregnant. This is when the bulk of losses occur with a chance of miscarriage of 75 percent.
Week 2: You may get a positive test, and then have your period. This is commonly called a “chemical pregnancy” as the egg never really sets up shop in the uterus. It implants briefly and begins producing HCG, but doesn’t “stick.” Your chance of miscarriage is 30 percent during implantation.
Week 3 to 6: At this point the egg has implanted, and you’ll have missed your period. Your miscarriage chance is now down to 10 percent.
Week 7 to 12: Your risk remains at 10 percent until you have heard or seen a heartbeat. The heart begins to beat sometime between week 6 and 7 in most cases. After a heartbeat is detected your chance of a miscarriage is only 5 percent.
Week 12 to 20: Second trimester losses are far less common with only a 3 percent chance of miscarriage.
Week 20+: After 20 weeks a loss is technically deemed a still birth. Still births come with a risk of about 1 percent.
As you can see after you’ve seen a heartbeat, the major risk of miscarriage has passed, and by week 12 you can usually relax unless you’ve had complications that place your pregnancy at high risk.
How can I ease the worry during my pregnancy after a miscarriage?
-Continue basal body temping: I must caution do NOT stress any day where a temp is lower or even below the cover line. The goal of basal body temping during a pregnancy after a miscarriage is to watch for a trend of low temperatures. For example, if you’ve had three temperatures under the cover line and spotting, there is reason to worry. Basal body temperature will tell you if your progesterone levels are elevated, which is essential to a healthy pregnancy in the first trimester, seeing those high temps can be particularly reassuring.
-Put down the pee sticks. Please. HPT darkness can be affected by all sorts of things. Testing every day and worrying over a slightly lighter line will do you no good. After about week 6, you may also experience the “hook effect” as HCG becomes higher it can throw off pregnancy tests, lines may lighten, conception indicators may backtrack. You can test the hook effect by diluting your urine by half, if the line is suddenly dark again or the conception indicator correct, your levels are just fine.
-Purchase a Doppler after week 8. I specify after week 8, but week 9 may even be a better bet. Home Dopplers will not pick up a heartbeat at 6 weeks, even if it’s there. It’s exceptionally uncommon for a home Doppler to find a heartbeat at 7 weeks. Thin women may have luck in week 8 or 9, and curvier women may have to wait until week 10 or 13 even. I support the purchase of a Doppler because it allows you to actively check on your baby. It really only helps with about 2 weeks of worrying at best, but can also be reassuring in the second trimester. Keep in mind that you should not use a Doppler more than once a week. While home Dopplers are “safe,” there is insufficient research on prolonged and excessive use to determine if using one every day, for example, may be unsafe. You can purchase a Doppler online for around $50.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you welcome your rainbow baby into the world soon. You may also enjoy:
Why is This Pregnancy Different?
Pregnancy Week by Week: The First Trimester