How to cope with miscarriage
Diane McAllister is an accredited councillor working with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is part of the 3fivetwogroup Counselling and Life Coaching Service, offering support to anyone that has suffered miscarriage issues.Diane answers common questions from those who have suffered a miscarriage in the blog.
Diane McAllister is an accredited councillor working with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is part of the 3fivetwogroup Counselling and Life Coaching Service, offering support to anyone that has suffered miscarriage issues.
Why do I feel so hurt by the loss of a baby I never met?
It is very natural to feel hurt by the loss of a baby you have never met. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Your loss will be individual to you. Even though you have not met your baby, you still would have physically experienced being pregnant, and all that entails. You would have been aware of your developing pregnancy week by week, day by day and all the changes that occur in your body and within the pregnancy. There is the loss of the pregnancy itself and also the loss of all the dreams, hopes and aspirations you held for the pregnancy, birth and after the birth of your baby.
How do I help my partner cope with our loss ?
Miscarriage can certainly impact on partners in various ways. Talking openly to your partner and listening to where they are coming from in their grief can be very helpful. It can be helpful for both of you to acknowledge each other’s thoughts and feelings around the miscarriage. You may be feeling different to each other, this is very common and very natural. Quite often partners can be at a loss as to what to do, they may want to help you to feel better. Sometimes just being heard, being acknowledged, and a willingness to try to understand can be a really good starting point.
I am finding it really hard to move on from my miscarriage, when will I feel better/normal again?
Recovering from miscarriage can be a very individual process and journey. For some parents it can be a complicated process of grief and can be difficult at times to comprehend. Some people take different amounts of time and grieve in different ways. Going from being pregnant to not being pregnant causes a significant shift in hormones. Before moving on from the loss there are other stages that you may go through, feelings of shock and numbness, accepting the reality of what has happened, acknowledging your pain physically and emotionally. How you are feeling is very natural, given what you have gone through. With the right support and care, you will begin to feel better.
What is the easiest way to get closure?
It is important to give yourself permission to grieve, to allow yourself to feel and acknowledge the loss of your pregnancy. Some parents choose to mark or honour their pregnancy in some way. Give yourself the time to adjust to life without being pregnant. Going through these stages does tend to help parents to move on with their lives, whilst integrating the loss of their pregnancy into their lives.
How long should I wait before having sex with my partner again?
Some medical professionals will advise women to resume sex after the bleeding has stopped. You may want to check this with your G.P/Consultant/Midwife. Again this tends to be more of an individual choice. It is important for both of you to discuss what is comfortable and what feels right for each of you. Protected sex with your partner may help you to feel closer.
How long should I wait to try to conceive again?
This is also quite individual for each person or couple. Some medical professionals will recommend that you give yourself time to process the miscarriage physically and emotionally, allow time for your body to return to a non pregnant state, where you have had at least one normal period. Your Consultant/ G.P/Midwife again can provide further advice.
Is it normal to need time off work to cope with a miscarriage?
Yes, absolutely, it can be very normal. Some people choose to take time away from work as they recover from miscarriage. Your body will need some time to recover physically and emotionally. Part of this healing process is to look after yourself, focus on your self care. It will very much depend on how you feel, as an individual, about your work and if you feel ready to cope.
I feel guilty, like I have done something wrong in my pregnancy. Do I need to do anything differently if I conceive again?
Generally, no. It is very natural to feel guilty and this is part and parcel of your grieving process. Quite often a miscarriage will be out of your control and there may be very little you can do to prevent it happening. If you’ve suffered more than two miscarriages you can have tests and find out about possible treatments at a miscarriage clinic. This may be something you could talk through further with your Consultant/G.P/Midwife.
Is there anywhere I can speak to other people who have been through a similar thing, miscarriage support groups?
Some of these are only online, and it is understandable that some people will prefer to want to talk face to face.
Mumsnet Talk. These are local people, generally women, who post messages and blogs on line. Life after Loss are based in Newtownabbey, Antrim and Lisburn and provide support to anyone who has lost a child at any stage of pregnancy.
There are also some people currently working towards offering further support for miscarriage and potentially setting up a support group at a suitable venue.
Individual Counsellors/Therapists, such as myself, with Accreditation, Registration with a Professional Body such as BACP, alongside several years of experience and interest in this area, offer support in the form of individual counselling and small group work. This is currently carried out on a private basis, although on some occasions I have received small donations/funding, which allows for the cost to be reduced.
I'm pregnant, and terrified of miscarrying again. What can I do to deal with the situation and prepare for trying for another baby again?
Again, this is a very natural fear, especially after you have suffered a previous miscarriage or recurrent miscarriages. It is probably in your best interests to be as positive as you can be. This is a new pregnancy. The less stressed and anxious you are, the better you will feel overall.
Find out more about the 3fivetwo counselling and life coaching service.