Underweight women 'more likely to miscarry'

Women who are underweight when they conceive are more likely to suffer a miscarriage during the early stages of pregnancy, according to new research.

A study commissioned by the Miscarriage Association has found that underweight women are 72 per cent more likely to miscarry during the first three weeks of pregnancy, establishing a vital link between body mass and risk of miscarriage.

In addition, the report found that dietary factors can be particularly important during pregnancy, with regular consumption of fruit and vegetables - important factors in a healthy pregnancy - believed to slash the risk of miscarriage by half.

Vitamin supplements were also found to help maintain a healthy pregnancy and researchers recommend a varied diet for pregnant women and those trying to conceive.

"Our study confirms the findings of previous studies which suggest that following a healthy diet, reducing stress and looking after your emotional wellbeing may all play a role in helping women in early pregnancy, or planning a pregnancy, to reduce their risk of miscarriage," said lead author Noreen Maconochie, who revealed that one in five UK pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

"The findings related to low pre-pregnancy weight, previous termination, stress and change of partner are noteworthy, and we suggest further work be initiated to confirm these findings in other study populations," she added

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