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how to reduce miscarriage risk by avoiding risk factors

If you’re not already pregnant, schedule a pre-conception visit with your gynecologist. She’ll review your medical history, ask about your lifestyle, perform an annual exam (if you’re due for one), and take blood samples to check for blood type, Rh factor, and varicella (chicken pox) and rubella immunity. If you haven’t been vaccinated against these infectious diseases, now’s the time to get your shots. Though skipping them won’t increase your odds of a miscarriage, the vaccines are live viruses and can’t be given once you’re pregnant.

Eat a well-balanced diet. You may already be taking a prenatal vitamin, but don’t think of it as a magic bullet. A well-balanced, healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to nourish your baby, says Dr. Nichelson. Plus, studies have found that loading up on a variety of fresh fruits and veggies every day can significantly lower your odds of having a miscarriage.

Exercise in moderation. You should continue your usual exercise routine once you’re pregnant, though now’s not the time to start training for your first marathon. The key is moderation: Some research indicates that seven hours or more of high-impact exercise a week while pregnant could greatly increase your risk of miscarriage. Contact sports are also off the table for now, as they could lead to an injury or fall.