After getting a positive result on a pregnancy test, many women begin to daydream about their baby, imagine themselves as a mother and even start to bond with their unborn child. However, plans for names, nurseries and next steps can fall apart quickly with a sudden, unexpected miscarriage. The first days and weeks after a miscarriage can be incredibly difficult, filled with a range of trying emotions and questions about the future. If you have recently gone through a miscarriage, here are five important things to keep in mind as you begin to heal.
Taking care of your physical health is essential following a miscarriage.
Whether you needed medical intervention during your miscarriage or not, paying attention to your physical health afterwards is critical to healing quickly and completely. Certain physical symptoms such as fever, chills, abdominal pain, foul-smelling discharge or bleeding that lasts for more than a week can indicate a serious infection or signal that part of the fetal tissue remains in your uterus; if you have any of these signs, see your doctor immediately. Even if you experience no complications during the miscarriage, your doctor may still recommend that you abstain from certain activities such as sex or exercise for a period of time to reduce further health risks.
Addressing your mental wellness is equally important.
The range of potential emotional responses to a miscarriage is vast. A lot of women feel extreme sadness and grief after a miscarriage, and for many such intense emotion is unexpected and surprising. Often guilt and anger go hand-in-hand with this grief as many women wonder if they could have done something to prevent their miscarriage. On the other hand, some women don’t feel much of an emotional response at all. Whatever you are feeling, know that your emotions are completely normal and valid, and you are entitled to grieve as little or as much as you need.
Seeking support from those you care about can help you cope.
As part of this grieving process, seeking help from those you are close to can be extremely beneficial. Do keep in mind that your partner may also be grieving; sharing your feelings with one another can aid both of you in healing. Friends can also be an important part of your support network. You may be surprised to find out how many of your female friends have been through the same experience and can empathize with your feelings.
Miscarriages are extremely common.
Because most women don’t openly speak out about their miscarriage experience, many who are currently recovering from a miscarriage don’t know how common they are. In fact, approximately one in three pregnancies end in miscarriage, and most women who have multiple children have also experienced a miscarriage. Understanding how prevalent miscarriages are can help you relieve any feelings of guilt that you may have as well as reassure you that a successful pregnancy following a miscarriage is more common than not.
Most women can try to get pregnant again after one normal cycle.
While healthcare professionals used to advise waiting for months before attempting to get pregnant following a miscarriage, most doctors now agree that the average woman can try to get pregnant again following a normal menstrual cycle. Nevertheless, speaking to your doctor about your own specific situation is advisable. In certain situations such as when uterine scarring has occurred, a longer wait may be indicated. As you begin to think about getting pregnant again, remember that there is no increased risk to future pregnancies after having a single miscarriage—three miscarriages in a row, however requires further evaluation. Please consult your doctor to discuss the next steps.