The fact that miscarriage is common may not be of much comfort when you’re dealing with personal loss. Experiencing a miscarriage can unlock a cascade of intense emotions which hormones can also intensify. From sadness and anxiety to irrational guilt, struggling with the loss can be emotionally overwhelming. These feelings are normal and part of the grief process.
Unfortunately, sometimes family and friends aren’t supportive. They may not know what to say or how to comfort and support you. Some may even believe you shouldn’t feel a sense of loss, especially when the miscarriage occurs early in the pregnancy. But pregnancy loss is devastating regardless of the timing or circumstances.
Emotional healing can take longer than physical healing so give yourself grace as you move through the process. Coping with miscarriage isn’t a straight line and its ok to feel like some days are one step forward and others are two steps back. Certain situations such as a friend announcing their pregnancy or a baby shower can present setbacks too. Some common emotions to experience are: depression, guilt, denial, anger, helplessness, envy and yearning. Some emotions may linger while others pass quickly.
You may feel like your body failed you or wonder if you did anything wrong to make the miscarriage occur. Miscarriages rarely have anything to do with something you did. It may take time to find hope for the future and find the willingness to try again. That’s ok. It’s best to wait until you’re ready physically and emotionally before getting pregnant again.
Your grieving process will be unique to you but, there are some things that may help:
- Remember your baby. Giving your baby a name, creating a memory book, journaling, planting a tree, purchasing a special piece of jewelry and/or holding a memorial service may be a source of comfort. Journaling can be an excellent outlet for your feelings. Writing a farewell letter can also be a source of closure.
- Take time off if you need it. Try to avoid making any major life decisions right now.
- Get support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Share your thoughts and feelings with family and friends who you trust and who love you. If you’re religious, speak with a spiritual leader.
- Focus on one day at a time. Looking too far into the future may feel overwhelming.
- Practice self-care. Rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Consider joining a support group. Whether you prefer to meet in person or join a group online, connecting with women who have been through the same experience can help you feel less alone and more understood.
- Communicate with your partner. While they can’t be expected to experience grief the same way you do, talking honestly with one another is a good place to start working through your feelings.
- Talk to your healthcare provider if your feelings affect your ability to get through daily life. Consider meeting with a mental health counselor or therapist for an evaluation.
After a miscarriage, it may feel like your life will never return to normal again. While you may never “get over” the loss, your emotions around the event will become more manageable with time.