An estimated 10-25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, resulting in millions of women dealing with a potentially traumatic situation. With today’s medicals advances, like home pregnancy tests and fetal ultrasounds in the first trimester, it’s possible to detect pregnancies earlier and bond with the baby, which can make a miscarriage more difficult, especially as many people overlook the attachment to a very new pregnancy.
After a miscarriage, pregnancy hormones may still be at play, making it feel like the grief is controlling you. This is temporary — when the hormones settle, you will soon feel like you are in control of your emotions once again.
Hormones or not, a miscarriage can cause deep grief and increase a woman’s chances of developing clinical depression and certain anxiety disorders. The parents-to-be not only grieve the loss of the baby but the expectations and hopes of the future.
Even when the pregnancy was unplanned, the grief of pregnancy loss can be very real and should be acknowledged. A sense of ambivalence (being torn between feeling relieved and sad) can bring on very complicated and difficult emotions.
Men are also affected by miscarriages. After a miscarriage, the focus is typically on the woman, and the father’s grief may largely be dismissed. Oftentimes, men express their grief and depression as anger. Men and other partners struggle with worrying for the mom and losing the hopes and dreams associated with their growing families.
Allow yourself time and opportunity to grieve after a miscarriage. Healing doesn’t mean forgetting; it just means refocusing. It may be helpful to memorialize your baby. You can plant a tree, select a piece of jewelry, or make a donation in honor of your baby.
It is important to seek professional care during these times both for your physical loss and the emotional trauma. Reach out to those closest to you; it is important that you not go through this alone. Support groups and psychotherapy are available and recommended for not only the mom, but the couple who experienced the loss.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, January 2019
- Miscarriage is common, affecting 10-25 percent of pregnancies.
- Pregnancy hormones can affect your emotions after a miscarriage.
- Losing a pregnancy affects both moms- and dads-to-be.