Pregnancy after miscarriage: how to manage anxiety + celebrate this new life

If you’ve ever suffered pregnancy loss, you know it doesn’t help to hear that 10-15% of women have had a similar experience. The truth is, it can feel really isolating, even when you have friends and family who have miscarried.

Losing a baby at any point in a pregnancy is devastating – especially if you’ve long dreamt of getting that positive pregnancy test. And grieving and healing from that loss may take a lot longer than you’d hoped. So, when you see that second pink line on a new pregnancy test, you might find that you’re overcome with both joy and fear. Will you get to meet this baby? How will you relax and celebrate the milestones of this pregnancy, without thinking of the last?

The worst thing is, people will tell you to ‘just relax,’ which can feel like the most impossible request in the world. So, we’re not going to tell you to do that. But we will share with some of the things that helped the Moms at Bump Boxes who have experienced loss. Maybe they’ll help you, too. 

Remember, this pregnancy is a new pregnancy

When you’ve suffered a miscarriage, sometimes it can be hard to separate the previous pregnancy from the new one. You think of what happened in the last whenever you think of this one, and that fires up all your fears and anxieties. But remind yourself that this is a new pregnancy. What happened in the last is not guaranteed to happen in this one. So breathe, and take it one day at a time.  

Show yourself grace + practice self care

This pregnancy is bound to bring up thoughts of the last from time to time, and that’s okay. Show yourself grace. Allow yourself to grieve and feel whatever feelings come up. And most importantly, show yourself some love with some extra self care. Take some time each day for yourself, however your schedule allows. Whether you take a long shower, meditate, take yourself on a date, or just spend five minutes focusing on your breathing and the miracles your body is performing, that is your time. Prioritize yourself. 

Do something to honor the baby you lost

While you’ll always miss and love the little one you lost, some Moms find it healing to do something to honor the life they never got to meet. For example, lighting a candle to your babe on what would have been your due date may feel right for you. Or maybe that’s too painful and you’d rather just send love to your baby when you see something or hear something that makes you think of them. What feels right for someone else may not feel right for you, so listen to your heart and don’t force yourself to do anything you’re not comfortable with or ready to do.

Accept + sit with the mixed emotions

Pregnancy after loss carries with it mixed emotions. You may sometimes feel angry that you can’t just share the unbridled joy that other women who haven’t dealt with loss feel. You may feel nervous about letting yourself celebrate the milestones. But whatever you’re feeling, it’s normal and it’s okay. Little by little, you may find it easier to allow yourself to celebrate and feel joyful about this pregnancy. But a lot of times, that joy may be tinged with anxiety. That’s okay, too. 

Connect with your rainbow baby

After connecting with and having to say goodbye to the baby you lost, you may be hesitant to connect with this new life. You may distance yourself or try not to get too attached. That’s a normal response – you protecting yourself. But try to put yourself out there. Try to connect with your rainbow baby by talking to them, smiling with each kick, marking each milestone. That said, don’t force it. If you feel like you aren’t ready to connect until later in the pregnancy, that’s okay too. 

Last thing…remember that you’re not alone and you’re doing the best you can. You’ve been through a trauma, and traumas change us. So, be patient with yourself. Show yourself the love you’d show a best friend. And most importantly, find someone you can talk to when the anxiety feels like it’s winning – whether that’s a partner, a best friend, a therapist, or a family member. Having someone to hear you out and reassure you when you’re really struggling can make a big difference.

The Mamas here at Bump Boxes are rooting for you and your rainbow baby + sending you so much love.