Life After Miscarriage: Steps Toward Recovery



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You might be
surprised to learn that between 10-20 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage. This number might seem low to you,
but that’s because there are many cases that go unreported. While there are
certain risk factors like advanced
maternal age, and
chronic conditions such as diabetes, anyone can experience this loss of
pregnancy.
For women who
have struggled with pregnancy loss, the process from grieving to healing isn’t
easy. Here are a few personal stories, as well as some suggestions from
Clinical Psychologist Jennifer Powell-Lunder, Psy.D for how you can help heal
your body and mind.
Rebecca
Jalbert was 29 and thrilled when she found out that

she was pregnant. “I told
so many people and they told so many people, so it was a very exciting time,”
says Jalbert. Her joy, however, was short-lived when she found out from her
obstetrician at just short of nine weeks that she was going to miscarry.

“I knew what
a miscarriage was, but I never fully understood what it would mean emotionally
until I went through it,” she explains. “I was devastated that this baby was
gone.”
According to
Dr. Powell-Lunder, the emotional wreckage from a miscarriage can have
far-reaching effects on families–particularly on the mothers-to-be.
“This a very
emotional experience so it’s not uncommon for a woman to feel fatigued and
depressed,” says Dr. Powell-Lunder. “A woman may find herself sleeping too much
or too little, her appetite may increase or decrease, and it’s also not
uncommon for a woman to continue to feel pregnant,” she explains. “This can be
very difficult; it takes time for the body to readjust.”
Katie O.
suffered similarly when she was first told she was miscarrying. “I blamed my
body for not working properly and it made me realize how badly I wanted to have
a baby,” she admits. “At the same time it made me feel like I would never be
able to have one.”
Dr.
Powell-Lunder can identify with these stories since she also had two
miscarriages. “Having been through it myself, I know how emotional and
stressful the situation can feel,” she says. “It’s helpful to know you’re not
alone and it’s important to focus on what the future will bring.”
Can I Prevent
a Miscarriage?
According to
some statistics,
nearly 60 percent of all pregnancy loss is due to genetic factors. That leaves
a large number of women to wonder ‘why?’
In terms of prevention,
there’s not a lot you can do other than seeking regular prenatal care and
avoiding known risk factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using
unprescribed medications.
How Can I
Recover From This Loss?
Recovering
from a miscarriage is an important part of healing the body and mind. Here are
some steps you can take from Dr. Powell-Lunder:
Take care of
yourself. You deserve some pampering.
Seek out and
accept support. It helps to know you are far from alone.
Communicate
with your partner and allow your partner to help you heal.
Focus on what
you can do. If your doctor recommends tests for example, follow through. A proactive approach to
the situation will help you feel more empowered.
Give yourself
time to heal.
It’s
important to note that multiple miscarriages (classified as more than two) merits
a conversation with your gynecologist and/or obstetrician to discuss possible
causes and options. This could result in testing which you’ll discuss with your
physician.
It’s also
noteworthy to say that the three women featured in this article all went on to
have healthy pregnancies and children. They shared their stories with the hope
of encouraging and supporting other families.

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