How to Deal with a Miscarriage: 5 Things to Do
Dealing with miscarriage grief can be a difficult and painful process. While not everyone who experiences pregnancy loss goes through the same emotions, processing and acknowledging your grief can help you deal with your feelings in a healthy way so that you can heal. It will take time and it’s not something you can rush, but there are steps you can take that can help when it comes to how to deal with sadness after experiencing a miscarriage.
1. Be open about your feelings
Many people feel like they need to grieve silently after a miscarriage, especially if they haven’t yet told friends or family that they were expecting. Bottling up your emotions can make negative feelings even more difficult to process and increase your risk for depression.
If you’re not comfortable talking to people you know personally about your miscarriage, consider joining a support group. Sharing with others who’ve experienced pregnancy loss can remind you that you’re not alone and the emotions you’re experiencing are valid.
“Allowing yourself to feel and express your emotions as you try to understand and accept that they’re normal can be very helpful. Working with a therapist can be a supportive way to process your experience. Know there are caring professionals who want to support you.”
2. Give yourself a chance to grieve
Part of learning how to cope with miscarriage is giving yourself enough space and time to heal. The pain you’re feeling won’t go away overnight, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to move on or “get over” your feelings.
While some women may choose to try for a new pregnancy immediately, it’s okay to wait if you’re not ready. Even if you’re physically able to conceive, you may not be emotionally ready for a new pregnancy, especially if you haven’t given yourself the chance to grieve your loss. That’s OK.
3. Take care of yourself
After experiencing a traumatic loss, it can be common to neglect your basic needs. When you’re not eating or getting the sleep you need, it can be difficult for your body to recover from the physical strain of a miscarriage. Self-care and healthy coping skills will be incredibly important as you heal during this time.
If you don’t have much of an appetite, try eating small, simple meals. It’s fine to order in or eat quick or prepared foods if you don’t feel up to cooking. What’s important is that your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
Make sure that you’re resting as much as possible — sleep will be important throughout your recovery. Other ways you can be gentle with your mind and body include trying to do things like meditating, journaling for your mental health, or, if you’re up for it, going for a short walk or sitting outside for a bit during the day. Listen to the signs you need a mental health day off so you can focus on yourself.
4. Find ways to commemorate your loss
Many people who’ve gone through miscarriage find it helpful to memorialize their loss. After all, it’s a type of grief in itself. There are several ways to remember and honor the baby you lost. Memorials can be comforting and offer a sense of closure.
Whether you choose a name for your baby, plant a tree in their honor, donate to a charity, or find another symbolic way to signify your loss, a memorial may help you feel the pregnancy you lost was real. You can involve friends and family members, or you can commemorate your loss privately. There’s no right or wrong way for you to do a ceremony like this.
5. Remember that it’s not your fault
Many people struggle with feelings of shame or guilt after losing a pregnancy. Instead of looking for ways to blame yourself, remember that your miscarriage isn’t your fault. More than half of first trimester miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities, which means there’s nothing you could have done that would have prevented the loss.
Try to show yourself compassion during this difficult time. Instead of searching for things that you may have done wrong, remember that this loss was out of your control. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people, like your doctor, partner, or other friends who’ve had a miscarriage, if you need reassurance.
“By practicing healthy activities to cope, you can reduce the difficult emotions and symptoms. That may require willpower and pushing yourself, but the results are worth it.”