This miscarriage support is from people who had to cope with pregnancy loss. One tip for coping with a miscarriage is to share your story about pregnancy loss, which I encourage you to do at the end of this article.
As I write this, I happen to be listening to “Obladi, Oblada, Life Goes On” by the Beatles. Following a miscarriage, it doesn’t seem that way. I can’t pretend to know from a woman’s standpoint, but it must be tremendously harder than it is for a man — and I can tell you it is awful for a man.
My late ex-wife had four miscarriages that we knew of, and my current wife had a miscarriage before our youngest daughter was born.
“Miscarriage isn’t something we as a society talk a lot about, but the truth is that 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage — which means this is an ordeal that a huge number of women go through,” Kate Torgovnick wrote for ABC News. “It can have a huge impact psychologically–from depression to the deterioration of relationships because people cope differently.”
If you need help coping with a miscarriage, you may find Miscarriage, Medicine & Miracles: Everything You Need to Know about Miscarriage. It also offers support for getting pregnant after miscarriage – and having a healthy baby.
Here are several suggestions for surviving pregnancy loss…
Miscarriage Support – How to Cope With Pregnancy Loss
Know that the miscarriage wasn’t your fault
Various sources say anywhere from 25% to 40% of miscarriages have no known medical explanation. The PDR Drug Guide for Mental Health Professionals says that 50-60% of first trimester and 20% of second trimester miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Doctors generally say that you can continue with your normal activities if you have a healthy pregnancy, so your exercising or other activity is not to blame–something else was the “real” cause.
Be your own advocate for pregnancy after miscarriage
Amy, a former colleague of mine, says, “Do not let one doctor tell you that you could have several more miscarriages, and that’s normal. Change doctors or at least get a second opinion. There are several problems easily solved that insurance companies discourage delving into.” Amy had a miscarriage in 1994, and her doctor told her she could have several more. She went to another doctor who discovered a progesterone problem, and she now has two children.
Take advantage of professional miscarriage support and help
“Your hormones will be awfully out of balance afterward, and it’s OK to get some medicine to handle the emotional turmoil,” Amy says. Licensed Professional Counselor Linda Britt adds, “Processing trauma is not something that anyone should attempt alone or with an inexperienced person. If it’s mishandled the person can end up being retraumatized and things get worse instead of better.” Find pregnancy loss and miscarriage support forums, or counselors who are experienced with helping people cope with miscarriages.
Expect people to say well-meaning but misguided things about pregnancy loss
If you’ve had a miscarriage, people may say things like “it must have been God’s will” and “you can get pregnant again.” They just don’t know what to say after pregnancy loss, but feel the need to say something.
Understand the true source of your grief
Some of those well-meaning folks might mistakenly think they can help by diminishing the experience. “You’re not grieving the miscarriage; you’re grieving for your baby,” says Britt. “You have a right to your grief. You’re a mother who bonded with her baby. The fact that your baby is no longer with you makes you no less a mother; and the fact that the loss came through a miscarriage in no way lessens your grief. You have to process the grief and the trauma in order to heal.”
Seek miscarriage support – a community of shared understanding
Britt says the loss, though very real, is an invisible one to others. “As much as your family and friends love you, they never experienced the presence of your child in their lives,” she says. “You must find women who have been through this to walk with you through your grief.”
Men, know that coping with miscarriage isn’t a problem you can fix
Writer Sam Holt says, “As guys we like to try and fix problems but sometimes you just need to provide a shoulder to cry on and an ear to talk to. Don’t take it personally or get frustrated that you can’t make her forget about it.” But you, too, are allowed to be upset, and allowed to grieve.
For a woman’s perspective on miscarriage, read How to Help When Someone Has a Miscarriage or Pregnancy Loss.
I welcome you to share your story of pregnancy loss or coping with a miscarriage below.
Written by Donn King, a writer and college professor from Knoxville, Tennessee. Learn more about him at donnellking.com or follow him on Twitter (and maybe learn more about his special needs daughter at TrisomyKidsAreSpecial.com).
Donn also wrote Too Old to Have a Baby? Signs It’s Time to Get Pregnant, for Quips & Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility.