How to Deal with Pregnancy Miscarriages
A miscarriage is a loss of a foetus before the 20th week of a pregnancy. The term is a spontaneous abortion and around 15%-25% recognised pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
The most common weeks to miscarriage are 0-6 weeks, week 6-12 you have around 10% risk and weeks 12-20 the risk decreases to 5%.
Signs of a miscarriage
Signs will worsen as the miscarriage processes, some of which are:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting with or without cramping
- Mild to severe lower back pain or abdominal pain or cramping , which is constant or intermittent.
- A blood clot of a gush of clear pink fluid.
- Decreased in signs of pregnancy
Dealing with a miscarriage
Every pregnancy loss is different and there is not a right or wrong way of feeling about it. A loss of a baby can be an unhappy, frightening and lonely experience, with feelings of shock and grief.
Difficulty in talking about what has happened is a common behaviour.
How someone feels will depend on the miscarriage circumstances, and what the pregnancy meant to the person. The stage and type of miscarriage will impact you differently. It may have been an idea that something was wrong or a complete shock when it happens. Other issues like fertility or multiple losses may have an impact on your feelings.
Emotions after a miscarriage
- Sad and tearful: suddenly bursting into tears without a trigger
- Shocked and confused: this can be more common if there were not signs that something was wrong
- Numb: having no feelings at all about what has been experienced
- Angry: at fate, hospital or others announcing pregnancies
- Jealous: seeing others with babies or others pregnant
- Guilty: thinking you could have caused the miscarriage
- Empty: a physical feeling of loss
- Lonely: isolating self, others do not understand
- Panic lack of control: feeling unable to cope in everyday life
Counselling after a miscarriage
When looking for a counsellor ensure they are qualified with a relevant body such as the National Counselling Society. Look out for specialist experience or interest in the issues you want to discuss, the costs involved and whether you can have a no obligation meeting or call before as it is important to have a connection with someone you are going to discuss sensitive issues with.
You can ask a GP for a counselling recommendation, or referral as some GP surgeries now have in-house counsellors if private counselling is not an option.
The word miscarriage carries a lot of negative emotions which is feared by many women.
The loss of a pregnancy is a significant trauma that can have lasting effects for the person who has lost the baby and the family.
Counselling will bring attention to the issue, which will help a person know they are not alone and can move forward from this.
A counsellor will address any emotions and help a client understand that these emotions will be overwhelming and can fluctuate frequently, giving a roller-coaster effect.
A counsellor will also bring to your attention hormones, as this is a physical effect of a pregnancy loss. Whilst they are not medically trained, it is helpful to take notice of the physical effects.
The trauma will manifest both emotionally and physically. Health can be affected for several months after a loss. Depression may set in and others will notice a decrease in mood and ability to participate in activities once enjoyed. Relationships may begin to suffer as isolation may set in and partners may feel helpless or powerless to improve the situation.
Anxiety may become apparent when considering a pregnancy again, as a women and her partner may be fearful of the same thing happening again. If pregnancy happens the woman may become hyperventilate to symptoms associated with miscarriages and withdraw from socialising and activates in fear of ‘triggering’ a miscarriage.
A counsellor may encourage you to make a journal of your experience to enable you to move forward.
Counselling will help you focus on self-care activities to help decrease the symptoms of anxiety or depression, helping one to carry out self-care activities regularly will encourage self-esteem and keep the mind busy to decrease negative thoughts.
Counselling will also help you address any emotions you feel and give you the space and time to process your emotions in a safe environment.
Going with your partner will also create a feeling of togetherness, as whilst a woman will have physically experienced the loss, a partner will also emotionally be feeling the loss.