If you were finally celebrating a positive pregnancy test after months of battling infertility just a few weeks ago, we know how difficult—to say the least—it can be to now be coping with a sudden and unexpected miscarriage.
Understandably, you may feel a range of emotions, maybe sad, disheartened, hopeless, and even angry or resentful. You may have trouble eating and sleeping; you may cry a lot, or not at all; you might feel alone and isolated. These are all natural, normal, healthy responses to a pregnancy loss. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we want you to remember, your reaction—no matter what it may be—is normal for you.
Feeling in the dark about what happened, confused about why it happened, unsure of what to expect, or uncertain of what your next steps should be can make the situation even more challenging.
Recovering from a miscarriage—physically, mentally, and emotionally—takes time and patience. Our team is here to help you figure out how to move forward. While there is no correct or easy way to cope after a miscarriage, here are seven suggestions for getting through this difficult time.
Grieve your loss
The grief you are feeling is real – no matter how early in your pregnancy you experienced the loss of your baby. Allow yourself to go through the grieving process in your own way and at your own pace. Keep in mind that some well-intentioned family and friends may try to minimize your loss, but remember, you have the right to grieve as much—or as little—as you need to. Doing this in any way can help you heal and eventually move forward.
Commemorate your baby
One of the things that makes a miscarriage so devastating is that there is rarely closure that comes with the loss. But doing something to commemorate your baby can help you create your own sense of closure and help you cope. Consider making a memory box, writing a goodbye letter, planting flowers or a tree, getting a special piece of jewelry with their birthstone, or having a private ceremony with your partner and close friends and family—whatever feels right to you. You may still feel the loss and find yourself grieving again on your baby’s due date or the anniversary of your loss and may want to do something special to pay tribute to your baby then as well.
Take care of yourself
You have been through a traumatic loss, but try not to let those feelings of grief completely encompass you. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well, doing something active every day, limiting your alcohol intake, and avoiding smoking. Often, the response to a miscarriage is isolation, so take care of yourself by staying connected to your loved ones during this time too.
As you deal with your grief, remember that your partner is also mourning the loss of your baby—although they may grieve differently. Sharing your feelings openly with each other can help you both heal.
Miscarriage occurs during the first trimester of 10 percent of pregnancies and about 2-3 percent of the time during the second trimester. Unfortunately, that means it’s not at all uncommon. Fortunately, though, that means you’re not alone. Many other women have been in your shoes and are coping with miscarriage alongside you. Sharing and comparing your story with those women (through a support group, in an online forum, or in a social media group), can be reassuring.
Know when to seek professional help
While it’s normal to grieve deeply when you first lose your baby, you should gradually feel better as time passes. It may be time to seek professional help if you
- Find yourself having difficult focusing, eating, or sleeping
- Feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety
- Are becoming more isolated from your family and friends
Our team can connect you to resources and help you find a therapist or counselor who can help you start feeling better.
Empower yourself with knowledge
Knowing the facts and statistics about pregnancy, miscarriage, and what may have happened with your body and baby can give you a feeling of empowerment. At AZCREI, we work to identify the reason(s) for your miscarriage and then create a plan with you to help you try to conceive again.
Remember, this isn’t the end
A common question many women have after a miscarriage is when they’ll be able to try again. The good news in all this is that even with women who have had two or three consecutive, unexplained pregnancy losses, about 65-75 percent go on to have a successful pregnancy and birth. Try to remind yourself that you can—and most likely will—become pregnant again and give birth to a healthy, happy baby.
Ready to try again?
It’s usually safe to conceive after one normal menstrual cycle (which typically occurs four to six weeks after a pregnancy loss). We always recommend that you wait until you are physically and emotionally ready before trying to conceive again. Don’t hesitate to talk with our team about any concerns you may have.
To find out more about our center or schedule a visit, contact us online or call (520) 326-0001.