Grieving after a miscarriage is an experience that many women face. Learn how to make grieving easier with these ten tips.
The American Pregnancy Association says:
Miscarriage is a term used for a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.
Most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
For women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25%, and in most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance.
Even though a miscarriage is an experience that a lot of women share, this doesn’t lighten the grief or make the experience any less significant.
I felt led to write this post after having spoken to so many women this past week that have gone through one or more miscarriages while recovering from my own.
In this post, I want to share with you how to make grieving easier after a miscarriage which is a message that can help mothers dealing with the loss of their baby early on in their pregnancy.
My Experience with Grieving After a Miscarriage
I had recent lab work that confirmed that I was in excellent health and felt that my pregnancy was a result of living a healthy lifestyle. I felt so confident that I was going to carry this pregnancy to term and have a healthy baby.
That is why it was all that more shocking to me once I realized I was having a miscarriage at ten weeks of pregnancy. My miscarriage was recent, and the grieving is still raw, and so this post is sincere and real.
This is my first miscarriage so I had no idea I would feel this much pain emotionally and physically while recovering from giving birth to such a tiny baby.
Although, grieving is not new to me since I’ve experienced several tragedies in my life and working as a nurse for ten years required me to be around people who are grieving on a constant basis. I’ve been implementing the following ten tips to help me grieve easier this past week, and I hope I can help the person that can benefit from this post to help them through their grieving process.
Grieving After a Miscarriage
1. Reach out to family and friends for support.
The most helpful tip I can give you to get through grief is to talk about it. Remaining silent will keep emotions stuffed inside which can be toxic to the body.
Having a positive support system of family and good friends can take you far in your grieving process. There are so many empathetic people in the world, that if you are grieving and don’t have support, then you can find support in unexpected ways. Call a church, call or visit a local crisis pregnancy center, speak to a counselor, or even go on Facebook. I’ve witnessed friendships made from Facebook groups where people find they have the same things in common.
Write out what you’re feeling or what you’re experiencing. Journaling can be done in a personal journal, a notebook, a sent or unsent email, or a message to a friend. I had the opportunity to grieve while sending messages to friends that were asking how I was doing and it was incredibly therapeutic for me to write my feelings out.
3. Talk to others who have had a miscarriage.
Nearly every mother I’ve spoken this past week has told me they have had one or more miscarriages. Many of them shared how important it is to talk about it with others.
It’s been a great help to talk to other women that have also gone through a miscarriage. They’ve helped me to realize that what I’m going through is completely normal. My friends told me what to expect for my physical recovery. I was also informed that the waves of emotions are completely normal and that the grieving process can take weeks, and even then, the baby is never forgotten.
4. Give yourself permission to cry.
I had plenty of crying sessions in the first week following my miscarriage. Part of it may be all the hormones fluctuating in my body due to the pregnancy. The emotions would come in waves and sometimes unexpectedly. People understand if you just need a moment to cry. Sometimes I’d want to cry alone and sometimes I’d want my husband to hold me or want to cuddle with my kids. Just go with the moment and do what moves you.
5. Take care of yourself.
It’s so important to take care of yourself especially when dealing with extra stress in your life. A miscarriage is a huge stress on the body on all levels; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In a state of stress, our body gets depleted of vitamins and minerals very quickly; and this can cause us to feel even worse.
Make sure you are being well fed, take high-quality supplements including B vitamins, get enough sleep and rest, get fresh air, drink plenty of water, and move even if it’s short walks during the physical recovery stage following a miscarriage. These are important steps to preventing an infection and promoting a healthy physical recovery. If this is too much to do on your own, recruit someone to help you.
6. Remember that others are grieving too.
A friend reminded me that my husband is grieving too. After she told me that, I went to talk to my husband and asked how he was doing. My husband doesn’t ever cry, but he admitted that he was sad too. My miscarriage became a bonding experience for my family as we took time to listen to each other and gave each other frequent hugs.
7. Pause and be grateful for the people in your life.
Let the people you love know how grateful you are to have them in your life. It’s so easy to think about what we’ve lost, but it’s so very important to recognize what we already have. These people are the ones that make us feel whole on a daily basis. I am more grateful for my three children and even love that they fight over who gets to sit next to me or who I spend more time with.
Writing what we are grateful for each day is very therapeutic for cultivating a spirit of gratitude and a great supplement to telling the people in our life how grateful we are for them.
It’s helpful to commemorate the one you have lost. I had the privilege of holding my tiny baby which was important to me to say good-bye. Also, I named and buried the baby. I plan to commemorate my child in a special way every December 11th, the day I had my miscarriage.
9. Recognize the five stages of grief.
The five stages of grief taught by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
Realize that these feelings are healthy to experience and a part of recovery. The grief after the loss of a loved one is typically in this order, but like all things, there are exceptions and everyone is unique.
10. Use essential oils.
Essential oils can be a powerful gift from nature to support us as we grieve. There are so many essential oils that one can use for support. Everyone will have their own favorites based on a preference of smell and because we are all so different. Generally, essential oils from citrus can be very uplifting. My essential oils of choice were Rose, Frankincense, and the various citrus oils.
Bonus Tip. Pray.
Pray for peace and consolation and ask others to pray for you. Prayer is extremely powerful for experiencing true peace and joy! Even if you don’t feel close to God, He wants you to come to Him since you are His child and He will bring the people or events in your life to help you through your sorrow.
In conclusion, I would have never thought that I would be writing about my own miscarriage the week before Christmas. Life sure can throw curve balls!
This post was difficult to write in the beginning, but as I wrote it over days, I found it to be incredibly helpful to write and then to read for myself. I hope my experience with grieving and coping after my miscarriage can help another mother that needs to read these tips.
Would you do me a favor? Can you share this post on Facebook or Pinterest so that it can be found by the person that is grieving after a miscarriage?