November's Wellness Topic: Avoiding the Holiday Blues
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Amy Lee, NP
Avoiding the Holiday Blues

Miscarriage: Sharing Your Grief
by Amy Lee

Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy prior to the time that a baby could live outside of the mother. Sadly, up to 20 percent of all recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. It's the most common complication of early pregnancy. Yet a woman experiencing miscarriage often feels incredibly alone and isolated on this journey. Understanding the emotions you are experiencing and sharing the grief you are feeling may help you through this sad time in your life.

If you have a miscarriage

Because miscarriage occurs early in pregnancy, many people may not even know you were pregnant. You may think discussing a loss will make those around you uncomfortable. For this reason, many women choose to endure a miscarriage alone, bearing the emotional pain without support.

Miscarriage is a loss

Bonding with a pregnancy begins the day you think about getting pregnant. Once you discover you are pregnant, you begin to identify with the baby that you are carrying, and who that baby will become. When the pregnancy is lost, so are all of those hopes and dreams. It is imperative that you grieve that loss. As with any grieving process, some will proceed through the grief stages quicker than others and some will spend longer in various stages than others.

The Stages of Grief

The stages of grief for any loss include:

  • denial (not me)
  • anger (who's to blame)
  • bargaining (I'll give anything for what I want)
  • depression (sad)
  • acceptance (I'm going to be okay)

Movement through the stages may not be straight-forward. You may move forward and then back. What's important is that you continue to move through them — not getting stuck in any one phase. It's also important to recognize that the movement should not be rushed or forced. Be sure to seek professional help if you find that you are not moving forward or if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Talking about your loss can help

Many women will step up and share their experience with you if you open up and talk about your miscarriage. The support of others may help you work through the stages of grief. A professional counselor can also be of assistance or you may discover online communities that are supportive. Most important, you need to know that you are not alone!

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