Health & Wellness

Parent Edition | 11th Annual | 2014

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30 miscarriages, parents have other surgical options, or they can choose induction and labor in the hospital, as the Sovas chose. "We felt lucky that we made a choice that was right for us and were able to spend a little time with Brooke at the end," Derrick Sova says. a reason to grieve A miscarriage is a loss, and it can be emotionally difficult to process for many parents, Barta says. Adds Jacobson: "Some people may need to go through a mourning process that others may not understand, but they should not feel pressured to move on until they are ready." There are resources for parents dealing with this grief, such as the Assistance With Grief peer support group at Swedish Medical Center, which the Sovas joined. "The group was really helpful because, in it, we found other people who had gone through something similar," Katie Sova says. The group offers people who have experienced a miscarriage or pregnancy loss a safe environment to express emotion with others who can relate, says Natalie Wurzer, an AWG facilitator. "The group format helps people see that they are not crazy, and they are not alone," Wurzer says. "Everyone handles grief differently and needs to allow themselves the space to go through the stages," says Kristi Sagrillo, also an AWG facilitator, referring to the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The bottom line is, it takes time to heal, Sagrillo says. Seek out books and online communities to benefit from sharing with others in the same situation; journaling can also help, she says. HoLding onto HoPe The good news is that a miscarriage does not impact a woman's future chances of getting pregnant. As long as parents are emotionally ready, they can start trying to get pregnant again once the woman resumes her normal menstrual cycle. Many women do get pregnant fairly soon after a miscarriage, which can sometimes help with grief, Barta says. "Most will have successful pregnancies, and that — along with time — heals the wounds." K a t i e S o v a d o e s n ' t k n o w w h e t h e r B a r t a i s r i g h t , b u t she should soon find out. She recently learned she was pregnant again. "Our hopes for the future are to continue on as a family (Brooke included), enjoy each day with one another, and hopefully have another child," she says. "I am very nervous, but hopeful." Most parents today can remember one of the first parenting questions they faced: Should Mom undergo an amniocentesis to check for birth defects or not? For many, it was a tough question for two reasons. In addition to the ethical dilemma a positive result could create, the test, which involves injecting a long needle into Mom's belly and extracting amniotic fluid from baby's protective sac, carries slight risks, including a less- than-1-percent chance of miscarriage. But a test being offered to some high-risk pregnant women today could relieve at least that piece of the worrisome puzzle, allowing parents to test for gender and three main chromosomal defects, including Down syndrome, through a simple blood test for Mom. Then, parents can make a more- informed decision on whether to proceed with the more invasive, but more definitive, tests, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (which tests a piece of placental tissue rather than amniotic fluid). The blood test, which became available in 2011 but is not yet FDA approved, requires only a blood draw from women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant. "The test performs sequencing of cell-free DNA from the mother's blood, looking for fetal DNA and analyzing it for fetal disorders," says Dr. Richard Porreco, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. Studies of the test have demonstrated detection rates for the chromosomal abnormalities (trisomy 13, 18 and 21) of greater than 98 percent and false-positive rates of less than 0.5 percent. An autosomal trisomy occurs when a baby receives three copies of a chromosome instead of the normal two. Risk increases with maternal age. Trisomy 21 is Down syndrome, which can vary in severity. Trisomy 13 and 18 are more serious, resulting in severe retardation and other often- fatal birth defects. Women who screen positive with the new blood test are recommended to confirm the results with an amniocentesis or CVS test. Porreco routinely offers the new test to his high-risk patients and, as a result, has seen the number of invasive pro - cedures markedly diminish, he says. He predicts the test ultimately will become routine for both high- a n d l o w - r i s k w o m e n . " I t a d d s i n f o r m a t i o n that can be very pro- d u c t i v e f o r p a r e n t s , and it has changed our whole approach to pre- natal diagnosis." Promising non-invasive screening technology by rhea maze new Paths in Prenatal Care did You know? during the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality. "Everyone handles grief differently and needs to allow themselves the space to go through the stages."

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