The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that 10 to 25% of clinically recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage, with 80% of these losses taking place in the first trimester. For many generations, miscarriage has been viewed as a taboo topic in our society. Couples are often instructed to wait until after their first trimester to share pregnancy news, when the rate of miscarriage drops significantly. This secrecy can make it difficult to feel comfortable seeking support or sharing their experience with others. However, seeking support and sharing your experience with others is an important step in the healing process.
Allow Yourself the Time and Space to Heal
Miscarriage is a physically and emotionally traumatic experience. Whether you miscarried at home or in a medical setting, your body needs rest and nourishment to heal. Your body is working hard to heal, so it is important that you allow yourself to rest and recover both physically and emotionally. You may also experience a wide range of emotions including sadness, shock, anger, emptiness and fear. These emotions are all normal. Surround yourself with things that bring you comfort and peace.
Honoring Your Child
“We remember the babies born sleeping, those we carried but never held, those we held but could not take home, and those who came home but could not stay. “
Some find comfort in religious services while others prefer quiet traditions they practice on their own. Some find peace in writing a letter or creating a memorial box with their child’s pictures and belongings. Some enjoy attending a remembrance walk or performing an act of kindness in their child’s memory. There is no right way to honor your child and your experience. Remember, grief has no timeline.
Find Community and Connection
Pregnancy loss creates complicated feelings of guilt, sadness, and loneliness. It is easy to feel like those around you do not understand your experience, especially when you are met with silence and discomfort from loved ones when talking about their loss. There is also a wonderful online community waiting to welcome you with open arms. Organizations such as Return to Zero, First Candle, and Postpartum Support International offer online support groups for parents. Peer support is essential in the healing process. The connection and validation that community support provides helps work through feelings of depression, guilt, isolation, and PTSD. If you are struggling to find a supportive community, Counseling Works has several Therapists that specialize in pregnancy-related concerns and experiences that are here to help and support you. Please visit our website at counselingworks.com to find a therapist that’s right for you!