A miscarriage occurs when there is a spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. A common belief about miscarriages is that there was a problem or error with how the pregnancy was being carried by the woman, but they actually usually occur because the fetus simply isn’t developing normally.
The abnormal development may be because of genetic issues or because the fertilized egg is developing outside the womb, so the pregnancy ends spontaneously. Certain conditions also put expecting mothers at a higher risk of miscarriage. It can be devastating – so how can bereaved couples cope?
Dealing with a Miscarriage
One of the first normal responses after experiencing a pregnancy loss is shock. You might be in denial or feel guilty about what you possibly did or didn’t do that caused the miscarriage. You may also feel deeply upset, cheated, and sad.
It is estimated that 10 to 20% of women who are aware of their pregnancies end up with a miscarriage. Dealing with the loss of a potential baby may take time before you can accept it and move on.
To help you get through this ordeal, the following are some tips on how to cope with a miscarriage:
- Turn to family and friends for support. Share your feelings, be open to healthy distractions, and ask for help when needed.
- Grieve with your partner. Understand that people cope with loss in different ways. Do not expect certain reactions from your partner other than support of you. Supporting each other can help you both get through your loss.
- Spend time with others. Join a support group where you can talk comfortably. It can be comforting to talk to people who understand your grief, and you understand theirs.
- Do things in memory of your baby. If you have photos of the baby’s ultrasound, print them out and keep them in a small photo album. Treat it as a celebration.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t rush your grief. Healing takes time, both physically and emotionally.
- Stay healthy. Eat nutritious foods, stay active, and get enough sleep to recover.
- Do not be afraid to seek professional help. Grief counselors can help you process your emotions, especially if you are unable to accept what happened.
- Consult your OB/GYN. Talk to your OB/GYN about what you need to do and how you can move forward.
Trying Again with Your Partner
If you think that you and your partner are emotionally ready to try getting pregnant again, schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN. They will counsel you about nutrition, diet, reducing stress and anxiety, and your daily lifestyle. Your body is subject to a multitude of changes during pregnancy, so the doctor may recommend certain prenatal supplements, vitamins, and/or habits to foster success.
Following a miscarriage, most healthy women can try to conceive again right away without needing to wait. Pregnancy after a miscarriage is possible; 87% of women who experienced a miscarriage go on to have healthy babies.
Keep in mind that once you are pregnant, the risks are especially high during the first trimester. Schedule regular visits with your OB/GYN to ensure the healthy development of your baby. Any adverse reactions during your first weeks of pregnancy should also be addressed by your doctor.
Ask your OB/GYN to screen for abnormalities so that they can be addressed in utero if necessary. You may also ask for additional doctor referrals for any special medical conditions.
A high-risk pregnancy threatens the life or health of either the mother or the unborn baby. Women who have pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart or kidney problems, or uncontrolled diabetes will automatically have a high-risk pregnancy and are in danger of having a miscarriage.
A history of having miscarriages is also another factor. Your prenatal visits should adequately cover these aspects for a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy Care in North Miami, Florida
Our highly trained gynecologists at Levin’s Women’s Health & Wellness Center provide specialized and comprehensive gynecological and obstetrical care to women in the North Miami community. We diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of women’s health disorders and provide gynecological checkups.
If you have any questions about our obstetrics and gynecology services, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, you can fill out our appointment request form online or call us today at (305) 981-0231. We look forward to guiding you throughout your pregnancy and helping you stay healthy!