How To Cope After Having A Miscarriage?

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Surviving emotionally after miscarriage

The emotional impact caused by miscarriage usually take longer to heal when compared to that of physical impact. Allowing yourself to grieve the loss helps to accept it and to get over it

What are emotions I might feel after a miscarriage?

A roller coaster of emotions such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, and difficulty concentrating may cause as a result of miscarriage.  Even if the pregnancy ended very early, the sense of bonding between a mother and her baby can be strong. It may also result in physical symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, difficulty in concentrating, and frequent episodes of crying. The hormonal changes that occur after miscarriage may intensify these symptoms.

The Grief Process

The grieving process involves three steps:

Step 1: Shock/Denial

Step 2: Anger/Guilt/Depression

Step 3: Acceptance

Each step takes longer to go through and sometimes anticipated triggers may lead to setbacks.  These potential triggers may include: baby showers, birth experience stories, new babies, OB/GYN office visits, nursing mothers, thoughtless comments and family reunions.

How to survive the pregnancy loss?

  • Reach out to those closest to you. Their understanding, comfort and support make you feel better.
  • Seek counseling to help both yourself and your partner and don’t try to face this alone.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to grieve and provide opportunity to remember.

How Women and Men Grieve Differently?

Generally women are more expressive and are more likely to seek support from others. Men may be more action-oriented, tend to gather facts and problem solve, and therefore do not always choose to share feelings. They often bury themselves in work when they are grieving.

Parents experience different levels of bonding with a baby. A woman can begin bonding from the moment she has a positive pregnancy test and this bonding may be strong and unique. Bonding for the father may start as he experiences physical signs of the baby, such as feeling the baby kick or seeing an ultrasound picture. However, real bonding may not develop until the baby is born and therefore men may seem less affected when the loss occurs early in pregnancy. These differences may sometimes result in strain in your relationship as you try to come to terms with the loss.

You can help your relationship to survive by:

  • Being respectful and sensitive to each other’s needs and feelings.
  • Sharing your thoughts and emotions.
  • Accepting and acknowledging each other’s coping styles.

Understanding Your Healing Rights:

By healing, it is not either forgetting or making the memories insignificant, but it means refocusing.

You have the right to:

  • Know the facts about what happened and potential implications for the future. Check the medical records, and take notes if necessary.
  • Make decisions about what you would like to do with your maternity clothes and baby items.
  • Protect yourself from difficult situations and set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Take time to grieve and heal.
  • Receive support from a counselor, therapist or support group to help you through the grieving process.
  • Be sad and joyful, but don’t let your emotions control you. Do enjoyable things because laughter and joy are healers.
  • Healing doesn’t mean forgetting or making the memories insignificant. Remember your baby and find comfortable in doing something tangible like planting a tree, selecting a special piece of jewelry with a birthstone, or donating to a charity.