Miscarriages are very common. Although everyone will have a different emotional reaction to it, it is usually accompanied by intense grief and anyone who experiences it would need care and support. Most of the time, early losses are also very difficult as we tend to attach to our babies as soon as find out we are pregnant. Common experiences include self-blame, going through stages of grief, changes in hormones, and finding certain things triggering. Not just the experience of a miscarriage varies from one person to another, but also the coping process. The following might help you heal from your loss:
• Not blaming yourself
Guilt is a natural reaction to pregnancy loss as you might think you did something wrong. However, in this case, it is an unhelpful emotion as there’s nothing you actually could have done to change the outcome of the pregnancy.
• Understanding that your feelings are normal
No matter how you are feeling, remember that it’s OK. You may encounter people urging you to move on soon after the miscarriage or who think that you are overreacting. However, you should never feel that your feelings are wrong or taboo. Therefore, do not push your feelings aside, push them away, or run from them as the best way to cope is to move through them.
• Not wondering whether you’re normal
Whether you are public with your experience as you talk with friends and family, hold a funeral service, or display memories of your babies, or you prefer grieving in silence, it’s normal. It is also normal whether you grieve quickly or if it takes you years to grieve.
• Being careful when listening to negativity
Given that pregnancy loss is not a topic that most people talk about, some might say hurtful words to you without meaning to. Therefore, this has to be taken lightly and you need to keep in mind that what they say isn’t necessarily the case. From your end, you can educate people about miscarriages to shatter such myths. Likewise, you don’t need to worry about what others think and having a funeral for your baby or not talking about the loss with anyone as both are equally fine. Rather than worrying about how others think you’re coping, do what’s right for you.
• Do not ignore your emotional needs
Feeling numb in reaction to a pregnancy loss is very normal. Sometimes, it feels easier not to think about what happened and to distract yourself to avoid heavy feelings. Remember that you don’t need to feel guilty to take a break from your grief once in a while as it is very exhausting. Nonetheless, don’t forget that these feelings also need to be confronted and as much as crying is fine, feeling joy again is fine too. Also, take all the time you need to grieve as there are no deadlines for grief and, for some, it’s a long process whilst for others, it’s not. It’s also very normal that some days will be better than others and keep reminding yourself that there will be better days in the future.
• Seeking professional help
On a final note, you are encouraged to seek professional help if you’ve given yourself time and patience, but you are still experiencing signs of depression or anxiety, or if your feelings of grief are making it difficult for you to function.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Johanna Cutajar is a Master in Counselling graduate from the University of Malta. She works with children and adolescents as a counsellor within the education sector on a variety of issues including relationship issues, trauma, bereavement, transitions, and general mental health.
Czukas, E. (2020). 10 Things to Stop Thinking and Doing After a Miscarriage. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/dont-do-this-after-pregnancy-loss-2371349 Wisner, W. (2021). What to Know About Miscarriage Grief and How to Cope. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-to-know-about-miscarriage-grief-and-how-to cope-5210598