Miscarriage & ‘Natural Abortion’

Briony Greenhill
2 min readSep 5, 2022


Given that abortion rights are being removed in various places, I thought I would share what I learnt from my first pregnancy / miscarriage.

  1. The first trimester is so fragile that body workers can’t get insurance to work on a woman who is 1–13 weeks pregnant, in case she loses the baby right after a massage.
  2. It is told that if you twerk hard in early pregnancy, you can induce miscarriage. The tiny poppy seed zygote / embryo is hanging on to the womb by a tiny little thread in the early days, which can potentially snap with vigorous pelvic shaking. I was teaching Upper Mouth Lower Mouth in early pregnancy, and twerked weekly. I miscarried at 5 weeks.
  3. I also think I may have cooked our first little zygote. I used to take really hot baths (I didn’t know) and my miscarriage blood came right after a very very long hot bath with my partner. I also swum in freezing cold sea whilst pregnant, which we thought might be a problem but turned out not to be. “Here’s the thing,” said my endocrinologist friend. “The body is good at regulating core temperature against cold. Your womb will stay warm enough in a cold sea, unless you get hypothermia. The body is not good at protecting itself against heat. Your body temperature is 37c. The womb and embryo can tolerate a 2 degree change in either direction, but more than that risks the child especially when tiny. So if your body temperature in the bath goes up to 40, 41 degrees and you stay in there for an hour, you can kind of cook the little poppy seed.”

Here’s the thing. It seems that in first trimester, absolutely everything presents a risk of miscarriage — alcohol, coffee, twerking, hot baths — and newly pregnant women walk on egg shells to protect a child we want to keep!

I’m 43. I’ve been sexually very active, I’ve never had an unwanted pregnancy and I’ve never had an STD. My advice if you want to avoid abortion or you can’t get one is:

  1. Get a coil (I had a coil for 17 years hence no unwanted pregnancies)
  2. Track your periods on an app — I used Monthly Cycles.
  3. If your period is late, take a test asap. My first pregnancy the first two tests were negative, then I tested positive 5 days after my missed period.
  4. If you don’t want to stay pregnant — drink coffee and alcohol, twerk your ass off, and take a bath as hot as you can safely stand — safe, hear me? I never burned myself in a bath — for like an hour each night and most likely your period will come in a week or two.



Briony Greenhill

Briony Greenhill is a folk-soul improvisational artist who teaches Collaborative Vocal Improvisation (CVI); formerly a researcher with a 1st in politics.