Sunday, June 03, 2007

After a Miscarriage: Surviving Emotionally

Now that you have experienced a pregnancy loss you are probably feeling more sadness then you ever thought possible. Having a miscarriage can be very difficult. The emotional impact can usually take longer to heal than the physical impact. Allowing yourself to grieve the loss can help you come to accept it over time.

What are emotions I might feel after a miscarriage?
Women may experience a roller coaster of emotions such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Even if the pregnancy ended very early, the sense of bonding between a mother and her baby can be strong. Some women even experience physical symptoms from their emotional distress. These symptoms include: fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, and frequent episodes of crying. The hormonal changes that occur after miscarriage may intensify these symptoms.

The Grief Process: What should I expect?
The grieving process involves three steps:

Step 1: Shock/Denial: "This really isn't happening, I';ve been taking good care of myself"

Step 2: Anger/Guilt/Depression: "Why me? If I would have..." "I've always wanted a baby so bad, this isn't fair. I feel more sadness in my life now more then ever."

Step 3: Acceptance: "I have to deal with it, I'm not the only one who has experienced this. Other women have made it through this, maybe I should get some help."

Each step takes longer to go through than the previous one. There are unexpected and sometimes anticipated triggers that lead to setbacks. Examples of potential triggers include: baby showers, birth experience stories, new babies, OB/GYN office visits, nursing mothers, thoughtless comments, holidays, and family reunions.

How can I survive my pregnancy loss?
Respect your needs and limitations as you work through your grief and begin to heal. As you work through this difficult time:

Reach out to those closest to you. Ask for understanding, comfort and support.
Seek counseling to help both yourself and your partner. You don't have to face this alone.

Allow yourself plenty of time to grieve and the opportunity to remember.

Full article:

No comments: