Emotional Care after Miscarriage
Even in 2019, the sadness and loss surrounding miscarriage is often not completely addressed. Miscarriages occur in 20% of all pregnancies. Often early losses are due to chromosomal abnormalities.
The first thing I always make sure patients know is that nothing they did caused the loss. I have seen so many women blame themselves, if they hadn’t traveled, gone to gym class, had intercourse, rode a bike, etc.
Often family and friends say well intentioned but hurtful messages such as, “Don’t worry, you’re young,” “It’s good it was so early,” “You got pregnant so quickly, you will again,” “You’ll forget this once you have a baby,” “ Enjoy the children you have.”
A women needs to know that no matter the weeks of gestation, this was her pregnancy and her loss. Grief is a normal process and every woman proceeds on her own timetable. Often a simple acknowledgment such as “I’m so sorry for your loss,” lets the woman know that you are thinking of her and available to talk. Counseling services should also be offered as needed.
Two to three weeks after the miscarriage, it is often very helpful to make an appointment with an OB Provider for a physical exam, review of events, plans for further testing if indicated and possibly an early ultrasound in a future pregnancy to decrease anxiety.
Miscarriage needs to be recognized as a truly significant event in a woman’s life. Care, during and after a miscarriage needs to include a focus on the emotional health of the woman.