Healing After a Miscarriage: What Helps?

Facing the sudden or unexpected loss of a pregnancy and baby can send anyone into a tailspin. You can be left wondering how it happened, what could have happened differently and why it had to happen to you. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

The road to recovery after a miscarriage can be a long one, but it’s certainly not impossible — make sure to take care of yourself, listen to your body and always be willing to ask for help when you need it. If you’re going through a miscarriage, here’s a little information on what to expect, and more importantly, how to come back from it.

Physical

While many women often think of the emotional or mental effects of a miscarriage, the physical effects are just as important. Your body will be going through a big change and will need some extra care to heal.

Effects

  • Pain or discomfort. Many women going through a miscarriage can experience some discomfort or pain due to contractions as your body is trying to expel the tissue. This can be as minor as feeling like your average menstrual cramps, or can escalate and move into your lower back.
  • Bleeding. When the fetus detaches from your uterine lining, it will likely result in some bleeding for you. It can begin as light spotting, or feel like a heavy flow with clots right from the beginning. The duration of time you’ll experience bleeding is based on how far along you were, as well as the type of miscarriage you experienced.
  • Infection. Unfortunately, miscarriages can often lead to infection for women — this is why it’s imperative that you take care of yourself. If you begin to experience severe pain or a fever, see your doctor immediately.
  • Exhaustion. This one may be obvious, but just like pregnancy, a miscarriage can take a toll on your body — this will pass, but you may feel extremely tired and lethargic for a while after.

What You Can Do

  • Rest. This one is the most important. Your body will need rest after going through the traumatic experience. Take some time off work, get extra sleep and listen to what your body is telling you. If you need a break at any time, take it.
  • Talk to your doctor. If you experience symptoms that seem abnormal or severe, it’s important to speak to your doctor. The doctor will be able to let you know if there’s cause for concern, or if you’ll need additional medical attention.
  • Medication. Whether it’s prescribed by your doctor or over-the-counter, taking pain relief medication can reduce some of the cramping and excessive bleeding you may be experiencing.
  • Pads. These will be your best friend over the coming weeks. Having pads on hand at all times can help prevent any leaking as you bleed — make sure you change them very regularly to avoid infection.
  • Heating pads or cold compresses. These can also help relieve some of the pain or discomfort you’re feeling. Turn on your favorite Netflix show, cuddle up with your heating pad and take some much needed time for yourself.
  • Stay hydrated. This is always important, but especially so when going through something like this. Staying hydrated can also help to lessen a heavy flow in some instances.

Mental and Emotional

The more commonly thought of effect is the one that happens with your feelings and mental state following a miscarriage. This is a hard experience, and everything you’re feeling is okay and normal. Taking care of yourself can help things from going too far, and at any time, seek help from your doctor if the bad or unhappy thoughts begin to take over. There’s a big difference between grieving and finding yourself in a bad place.

Effects

  • Denial. You may experience shock or disbelief that your pregnancy is over. This is a natural part of the grieving process, and will pass and be followed by acceptance.
  • Guilt. Many feel guilty for what has transpired — as hard as it may be to acknowledge or realize, this is not your fault.
  • Depression. Another common effect is for women to fall into depression — this is when the sadness, guilt and anger you may be feeling goes an extra step further. If you begin to feel this way, we urge you to please speak to someone.

What You Can Do.

  • Let go of the blame. We know, it’s much easier said than done, but it’s important to quit blaming yourself for something out of your control.  You did the best you could.
  • Talk to your doctor. Keeping the doctor in the loop with how you’re doing and recovering will offer important insight into how to help you best. The doctor can offer advice, medication and encouragement during your dark time.
  • Talk to others. Use your support system — talk to your friends and loved ones to get you through this time. You may be surprised to find how many others have experienced the same thing — it can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Get out of the house. Go on a walk, run to the store hit your local Starbucks. Getting fresh air, sunshine and avoiding being cooped up can do wonders for your frame of mind.

We are so sorry you’re going through this painful time, mama. Make sure you give yourself the time and care you need to heal — it won’t always be like this, and try to remember that you likely can (and will!) be pregnant again and give birth to a healthy little one. 

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