How to Cope With a Miscarriage
A miscarriage can be a devastating experience. While it is different for everyone, most people feel grief and even experience depression. Everyone's coping method will be different, but there are several steps that most people will find helpful. Understand that handling a miscarriage can take a while; give yourself time to work through your emotions. You can also find ways to heal, and lean on your support system when you need help.
Processing Your Emotions
Learn about the grieving process.A miscarriage is a significant emotional loss. It is normal to mourn this loss the same way you would mourn any other loss of life. Try to familiarize yourself with the grieving process so that you will understand that what you are feeling is normal.
- The first stage of grief is denial. You might find yourself thinking, "This isn't really happening."
- The second stage is feeling anger, guilt, or depression. Common thoughts include, "This isn't fair!" or "Why me?"
- The final stage is acceptance. You will of course still feel sadness, but you will begin to accept the reality of the situation.
Be patient with yourself.Remember that this emotional experience is different for everyone. Everyone will move through the different stages at their own pace. You might move quickly through the denial stage, but then find yourself stuck on anger. That's ok.
- Make an effort to be kind to yourself. Take a moment each day to acknowledge your emotions. Just don't judge them.
- Don't rush yourself. Take the time you need to heal and process your emotions.
Accept setbacks.Healing is a process. As time goes on, you will make progress and feel better. You will also likely experience some bumps in the road. Setbacks are difficult, but you can get through them.
- Maybe you experience a setback when your sister tells you that she is pregnant. After your loss, this is going to be hard for you to hear.
- Remind yourself that you can still be happy for your sister while feeling sad about your own loss.
- If you feel yourself sliding back into sadness for a few days, that's ok. Be patient with yourself and know that you'll move forward again when you're ready.
Keep a journal.When you are coping with a miscarriage, you might find yourself overwhelmed by emotions. It can be helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal can help you sort through your emotions and reflect on them.
- Try keeping a log of how you feel each day. Write down notes about both your physical and mental state.
- You can look back at your notes to help detect patterns of times when you feel better.
- Journaling can also be very therapeutic. You might feel better just by knowing that you have a place to express your feelings.
Get plenty of rest.When you are exhausted, all of your emotions will feel heightened. For example, when you're tired, a feeling of irritation might turn into true feelings of anger. Try to get plenty of rest so that you can heal emotionally.
- You might have also had to have a surgical procedure relating to your miscarriage. In this case, you also need to get plenty of rest so that you can heal physically.
Taking Steps Towards Healing
Make your own choices.You might find that well-meaning friends and relatives are offering a lot of unsolicited advice during this time. Remind yourself that they mean well. However, that doesn't mean that you have to listen to everything they say.
- For example, maybe your mom suggests that it is time to donate all of the baby clothes that you bought. Eventually, this might be something that you want to consider.
- If you're not ready now, don't do it. It is your right to say, "Thank you for the advice, but I'm not ready to take that step right now. Please respect my pace."
Save your memories.It might help the healing process if you can find a way to honor your child's memory. Many people find it helpful to do something that will help preserve memories and help with the healing process at the same time.
- You might consider holding a memorial service for your lost child. This could be private, with just you and your partner. Or you might ask close friends and family to attend. Many hospitals can help you with the logistics.
- You could also choose a different type of memorial. For example, you could plant some flowers in your garden as a memorial to your baby.
Speak to your doctor.Some miscarriages can also be difficult to cope with physically. You might have to undergo a surgical procedure. It is also normal to feel the effects of a hormonal imbalance. Talk to your doctor so that you can start the process of healing your body.
- Ask your doctor if there are any precautions you need to take. You can ask for advice in handling any bleeding, and also in dealing with mood swings.
- Don't be afraid to ask for any support that you need. Your doctor should be concerned with both your physical and mental well-being.
Keep your body healthy.Good physical health is directly related to your emotional health. Make sure that you are getting the rest that you need to heal. If necessary (and possible), consider taking a little time off from work.
- Take care to eat a healthy diet. Focus on whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean meats. For example, you could heat a whole wheat pasta dish with some grilled chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.
Know that your experience is your own.You may have friends or family members who have gone through a miscarriage of their own. Naturally, they will want to give you advice on how to handle it. It’s fine if you want to listen, but it’s ok to feel like your situation is different.
- It’s fine to tell someone, “I appreciate your advice, but I really need to handle this in my own way. Thanks for being respectful of my wishes.”
Using Your Support System
Communicate with your partner.Your partner will also be going through a difficult time. They might also be experiencing sadness, anger, or grief. Take time to talk to one another about your feelings.
- Be open and honest. If you are feeling depressed, don’t be afraid to say so.
- Your partner could be your best source of support. Don’t be afraid to lean on them.
Be kind to one another.When you’re going through a wide range of emotions, it’s normal to want to vent your frustrations. That’s fine, but remember to try to treat your partner with kindness and respect. They’re having a tough time, too.
- Instead of saying, “You don’t understand!” try saying, “I don’t think you’re hearing me. Could you listen to me talk through my feelings?”
- Do not blame one another. The miscarriage is not your fault, nor your partner's.
Find a support group.You might find it helpful to talk to others who are struggling to cope with a miscarriage. There are many support groups available to help you. Ask your doctor to recommend a good one in your area.
- If you don’t want to go in person, there are also online groups. Just make sure to choose one with supportive members.
Accept help.Your friends and family will likely want to help you after your miscarriage. You may want to accept their offers of bringing food or helping you clean your house. Your body and your mind will need extra rest as you cope.
- Choose what kind of help you want. For example, a friend might ask if you want to go to a movie. It’s fine to respond, “I’m really not up for leaving the house yet, but it’d be great if you want to come over and watch something on Netflix.
Look for good resources.Try to resist the urge to scour the internet trying to discover the cause of your miscarriage. Instead, use your doctor as a resource. Ask any questions that you have, and don’t be afraid to follow up.
- You can also read reputable sites such as your hospital’s website or the website for American Pregnancy.
- Some of the grief and guilt involved in a miscarriage is tied to the need to tell the bad news to everyone who knew you were pregnant. If you have an appropriate friend or family member, you might consider having them make a few calls to ease the burden.
- Remember that grief is different for every person, and that whatever feelings you have are okay. Your partner may be sad,for instance, but you,angry, or vice versa. Have patience with your partner and yourself if you show grief in different ways.
- It is inadvisable to lay blame on any party in the event of a miscarriage.
- Seek immediate assistance from a local crisis center if you feel you or your relative may be a danger to themselves.
Video: 6 WAYS TO COPE WITH MISCARRIAGE | HOW TO COPE WITH PREGNANCY LOSS AND GRIEF AFTER BABY LOSS
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