Miscarriage Grief. What Are the Stages of Grief after Miscarriage?
Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)
Last updated date : February 28, 2023
Pregnancy is a life-changing phase for a mother. Even though the majority of pregnancies result in alive births but 10% to 20% reported them to result in a miscarriage. If a fetus dies in the trimester then it is considered a miscarriage. It can have adverse effects on the health of a mother, that is both physically and mentally. Mental effects of miscarriage can include depression, fear, and hopelessness. Parents or especially the mothers mourn and grieve the loss of their young one. Let us discuss what is miscarriage grief and what are the stages of grief after miscarriage.
Miscarriage may be one of the misunderstood experiences a woman may have. Because some of your closest friends and family members may not understand how you’re feeling, you could feel incredibly sad but also alone. As people may be unable to connect with a parent or especially the mother who has lost someone who was not born yet but was a part of her. She felt his/her heartbeat and existence. It is the most difficult time for her.
Grief is a feeling which comes after losing a loved one. Miscarriage grief is experienced by every mother after miscarriage as they mourn their loved one. Even if you were unable to see or hug your child, your grief is still very much a part of you.
After a miscarriage, you can need some time to recover both physically and mentally. Grieving over your unborn child as well as the hopes and dreams you had for the two of you is completely natural.
Common Feelings after a Miscarriage
Here are some of the feelings that are common when you grief a miscarriage.
Signs of Grieving
Here are some of the signs of grief after miscarriage.
- If you are feeling angry and numb.
- If you feel detached and distant from others.
- Not finding joy in life.
- If you find yourself thinking about the loss all the time.
- You may overthink the traumatic event which makes you think negatively and lose hope.
- You are having physical problems such as body aches, headaches, stomach or hunger problems, etc.
Stages of Grief after Miscarriage
If you recently had a miscarriage, your pain would be at its peak. Hormones are also to be blamed in this case. However, grief after miscarriage generally has 5 stages, which as discussed below.
When you first face the reality that your unborn child is no more. You are in an ultimate state of shock and denial. You refuse to admit to the situation. For instance, a woman may take several pregnancy tests to admit that the baby is no more.
You may want to stay alone and absorb what just happened. Isolation is also a common response when mothers hear about a miscarriage. Their part of a body is gone. Some women think that no one else can understand their pain so they may not talk to anyone for a time being. Further social interactions become difficult as they have to answer people about the painful event they had.
Anger is a natural response to grief after miscarriage. Many people hold their medical professionals accountable for failing to see the warning symptoms sooner and for being powerless to stop the loss. You may feel upset about the lost child and dreams. So you may also self-blame or blame it on your husband that they were not responsible enough to care for the unborn child.
Further, some mean friends or family members may also give remarks about your painful time. Remember to not suppress your hurtful emotions but rather share them with someone you trust e.g. your husband to let the pain out.
The next stage is bargaining. For instance, a mother may frequently cry and pray to God to return things that she lost. She may offer bargains such as doing charity or becoming religious if God again blesses her with a child.
Alternately, you might spend hours reading how to avoid miscarriages and look into everything you can do to reduce your chances of having another loss. Such as adopting healthier eating habits or engaging with alternative medical procedures to get pregnant.
You generally feel sad when you lose a loved one in your life. Your dreams may be shattered as a parent and all that you may have invested in. Parents or generally mothers feel no pleasure in life as they grieve after a miscarriage. Images of babies or simply talking about babies may make you upset and cry. So grief after a miscarriage can also impact your social and work life.
Further, you may be guilty that were not able to care for and protect your unborn child. Hormones also have a role in this as during pregnancy women get extremely emotional. And maybe biologically upset till you get normal to your monthly cycles.
In addition, if you do become pregnant, you can have severe worry and be certain that you will miscarry once more. So you may become extra cautious.
As we say time heals all wounds. Your pain of loss can never be completely healed but it lessens over time and you accept the situation. If you are having problems moving on to this stage of grief after a miscarriage, have patience with yourself. There is hope.
The duration of acceptance depends on how you cope with the situation. The pain leaves a scar. Some mothers immediately try to conceive after a miscarriage to cope with their loss. Some mothers also refer to themselves as angel mothers to remember the lost child.
Call to Action
The most painful truth of life is losing a loved one. If you or someone you know is going through this tough time then you can try reading “Grief after Miscarriage- How to Heal from It?” at Epsychonline. To help you recognize your primary and secondary losses and discover coping ways for your grieving. Further, you can enroll in the Coping with Chronic Pain course at Epsychonline. So that you can deal with chronic pain during the stages of grief after a miscarriage.