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Healthy You

Miscarriage: Coping and Trying Again

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:08 AM

The loss of a baby can be very painful. While coping with the loss of your baby, it is important to remember that your reaction is what is normal for you – and your reaction for your partner is what is normal for them. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You have the right to grieve as little or as much as you need.

During this process you and your partner may experience these common stages of grief:

  1. Shock and denial. You may experience a disbelief and numbness.
  2. Anger and guilt. You may feel desperate to pin the blame on someone – whether it is yourself or others. It is possible to experience resentment towards those who are happy around you; especially pregnant women or parents.
  3. Depression and despair. There is the possibility that you may feel sad, lose interest in tasks and wonder “why me?”
  4. Acceptance. Acceptance does not mean forgetting. It means you are emotionally ready to move forward in your healing process.

Each stage of grief will last longer than the last stage and sometimes unexpected triggers can set you back. Joanna Horwitz MD, Gynecologist at NorthShore, recommends keeping your doctor informed about how you feel physically and mentally.

Dr. Horwitz shares ways to cope with your loss:

  • Turn to your partner for support. Remember that your partner is mourning the loss of a baby too. Openly sharing your feelings with each other can help you both heal.
  • Ask someone to break the news for you. You may not want to discuss this right away or repeatedly. Asking a family member, friend or coworker to break the news to others will allow you to avoid answering the same painful questions.
  • Seek out your support groups. Whether that be a miscarriage support group, your faith-based community, friends or family – it is important to know that you and your partner do not have to go through this alone. Do not be afraid to ask for support, comfort and for their understanding.
  • Do not apologize for your pain. If your friends or family have not experienced the loss of a baby, they may tell you to “move on” or “get over it.” Do not take these hurtful comments to heart because they are trying to help. Pain is a normal response and you do not need to apologize for that.
  • Talk to a professional. After a miscarriage, hormone levels can change resulting in mood swings. If you or your partner needs help, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a counselor.
  • Look at the future. You and your partner will need to have a discussion at some point about when you are ready to try again.

Mentally there is no guideline for when to start trying again. It is up to each individual and couple. Talk to your doctor before you try again, says Dr. Horwitz. Most doctors say it is okay to try again after you have had one normal menstrual cycle.

What helped you or your partner most while coping with your loss?