You recently had a miscarriage and you just cannot seem to make sense of it. How did this happen? Why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong? Is this karma? And even, what is wrong with me? These are just some of the questions you may be asking yourself after having a miscarriage. You have experienced a loss, a loss that is affecting you so deeply you don’t know if you can ever recover. The pain you feel, the sadness, the longing for a different outcome, seems to be taking you over, and somedays it’s just hard to breathe.
You will recover
It may seem difficult to understand that, while miscarrying is an enormous burden and loss, you will recover. You will one day feel better again and you will stop blaming yourself. Realizing that healing from miscarriage is a process that may take time, is important. It’s also important to know that how you are feeling right now is temporary, and that you will not be experiencing this pain forever. It may also help to understand the Stages of Grief After Loss. By yourself, though, there are several things that you can do to help heal emotionally after a miscarriage.
Allow yourself time to grieve
You have experienced a loss, one that was (likely) unexpected and oh, so much more painful because of your expectations. No one gets pregnant expecting to miscarry. The shock of the loss may cause you to feel denial, anger, guilt, and/or depression, and all of these emotions are completely normal and ok to have while you process your grief. Do not hold everything in, do not push down the pain and pretend everything is normal. This only prolongs the grief process for you. You need to feel each and every painful emotion, to process through it and get to the other side.
Know that it is Not.Your.Fault.
Like most women, you are likely blaming yourself for the loss. Thinking that maybe it was something you ate, or some activity you did, that caused the miscarriage. Unfortunately, miscarriages occur often, in as many as 30% of pregnancies. That means that every 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, none of which are the woman’s fault. Most of the time, miscarriages are a body’s natural reaction to a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo, meaning that it is neither the mother’s nor the father’s fault.
Lean on your support system
Do not go through your grief alone. Lean on your partner, your friends, your family to help you talk through everything, cry on their shoulders, or just sit there in silence with you. If you don’t have a support system to talk with, talk with your medical provider or see a professional grief counselor. Grieving in isolation is not going to help you get over this, but sharing your pain with others will.
Educate yourself about miscarriages
You may not believe me, on an internal level, when I say that miscarriages are Not.Your.Fault. Intellectually, you may understand that, but still blame yourself or feel guilty. So, get information from another source – read up on miscarriages, what causes them, and how to recover from them. Don’t go crazy reading everything you can find, and definitely vet your sources to make sure they are reputable, and while you’re at it look up even more tips on how to recover after miscarriage.
How to feel better
You may be feeling overwhelmed right now and are in the throes of your pain, but you can feel better. Taking the above steps will set you on a path towards healing and getting back to who you are as a person. It may be difficult right now to take these steps, but doing a little bit at a time is manageable and will help you through your grief.
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Counseling after miscarriage will help you grieve and understand your loss. But, we know that is not all you might need. So, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.