Dealing With Miscarriage: How to Cope
When you have suffered a miscarriage, it is important to take the time to grieve. While some people may not understand, believing that you are just crying over something you "never had", the fact remains that your loss is very real and painful. As with any loss, it is important to your emotional well-being to deal with your feelings.
Perhaps the most common emotion to experience with a pregnancy loss is grief, which means it is necessary to go through a grieving period after your miscarriage or stillbirth. Although you may feel as though showing your grief is a sign of weakness, it is important to remember that grief is a natural human emotion that everyone experiences.
There is no mandatory grieving period after a pregnancy loss. How long a woman grieves for her miscarriage will vary from woman to woman. Some may only need a few days while others require a few weeks or months. Women who have had multiple miscarriages may find their grief to be even more consuming and requires a longer healing time.
Grief is not the only emotion you’re likely to experience after a miscarriage. Feelings of depression, isolation, and loneliness are often reported by women who have lost a pregnancy. While these emotions are normal, if you notice that they begin to interfere with your daily activities, you may want to make an appointment with your health care provider. Having difficulties coping from day to day due to these emotions may signal that you are suffering from major depression, a problem which requires professional attention.
Self-blame is another typical response to miscarriage. Thinking that there is something you did wrong or that you are at fault in some way can easily ring in your brain day after day. You may also notice yourself feeling intense anger and jealousy towards friends that are pregnant. While these emotions can be disturbing, keep in mind that they will pass.
Your relationship with your partner may be noticeably strained during this time. You are both dealing with an intense emotional time and it is easy to find yourselves turning away from each other. Although it can be difficult to verbalize how you are feeling, it is important to discuss your emotions.
It is also likely that your partner may be apprehensive to approach the subject of your miscarriage with you, fearful that he may upset you. If you are not ready to talk about your loss, be honest and let your partner know, but be sure to let him know when you are. If too much stress is being placed on your relationship because of the loss, you may want to consider attending couples counseling, which can help both of your work through your grief.
Talking with a professional can do a world of good by letting you get out all those emotions you may have bottled up inside. Finding a therapist that you can talk one-on-one with will aid you in coming to terms with your loss. You may also want to look into finding a miscarriage support group where you can talk with other women and couples who are going through the same experience as you. Hearing other people’s miscarriage stories can help you feel less isolated and alone
Your family and friends are also an excellent source of strength and support during this difficult time. However, you may find that some of those you most want support from only make the situation worse by ignoring it altogether. This can make you feel angry and hurt, causing you to withdraw socially from those closest to you. Try to remember that perhaps the reason they are ignoring the situation is because they do not want to upset you by bringing up a painful topic. Be honest with your family and friends and don’t be afraid to tell them when you need them to listen.
While every woman will want to deal with her loss differently, here are some tips that may help you cope:
- Take a Break: Take some time off work so you can focus on yourself for a few days. If possible, have your partner arrange for time off as well so you can spend time together.
- Make Some Rules: Friends and family often aren’t sure whether it is okay to discuss pregnancy and pregnancy loss in the presence of a loved one that has recently had a miscarriage. Make things easier for yourself and for those around you by letting them know which, if any, topics are off-limits.
- Get Writing: Writing in a journal is an excellent way for you to deal with your emotions. By writing honestly, you can see and reflect on what you are feeling. Additionally, studies have shown that journal writing can help quicken the recovery time during sad periods.
- Do Something: Many parents find that doing something to commemorate their child helps significantly in letting go of the grief. Whether it is having a memorial service, planting a special tree, writing about your experience to help others, or creating a special website dedicated to the memory of your child, finding a special way to honor your child’s memory can turn a negative situation into a positive one.