The Department of Health and Human Services is warning pregnant women that they are at higher risk for miscarriage if they wait until after their due date for a prenatal appointment.
The warning comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that nearly 30 percent of pregnant women who have not had a prenatal visit between July and December 2016 had miscarriage or stillbirths, according to the agency’s most recent national survey.
More than 1 in 10 women, or about 18 percent, who have been pregnant between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, were still pregnant during that time period, and nearly 8 percent had a miscarriage or an unplanned pregnancy, according the survey.
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol were most likely to have miscarriage.
The researchers cautioned that the findings do not apply to all pregnant women.
“Women with preexisting medical conditions who are considering having a baby should seek prenatal care,” the researchers wrote.
“If a pregnancy is not considered to be due within six weeks of the due date, and if the mother’s pregnancy is diagnosed and the fetus is delivered before six weeks, the risk of miscarriage increases significantly.”
They noted that women with preexypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes are more likely to be pregnant in the past three months, and that these factors may contribute to miscarriage risk.
The CDC also recommends women to have a medical examination after giving birth to determine the cause of their pregnancy, including the date, time and gestational age of the baby.
They can also discuss with their health care provider any other medical problems or medical conditions that may be associated with the pregnancy.