Moving Beyond Pregnancy Loss

It is very normal for women to feel depressed after a miscarriage or pregnancy loss.  Pregnancy is a very exciting time in the life of a woman, and there is a period of mourning that most women experience when this excitement is gone.  It's important to understand these feelings and to know how to deal with them when a pregnancy is lost.

Grieving Stages

There is a process that most women go through when they lose a pregnancy.  Understanding this process, and identifying where you are along the process, will help you to cope.  Common stages of grief include denial, anger, guilt, depression and then acceptance.  Each of these stages requires a certain amount of time; and no two women grieve in exactly the same way or for the same duration.  You might experience denial for a week, anger for only a day, no guilt at all, and depression for a few weeks.  Finally, you'll come to acceptance.  Certainly, there are many factors that will contribute to your grieving stages.  If you've experienced many miscarriages before or if you had a stillbirth, you may feel your grief more acutely.  If this is your first miscarriage and you're very young, you may not take it as hard.  You may also find certain things that set you back along the way or that trigger your emotions more.  Certainly, if you have a friend who was due around the same time, the birth of her baby will be difficult for you.  If you attend baby showers or see many babies throughout your day, this may also contribute to your mood.

Helpful Hints for Healing

In order to heal and move forward, there are a number of helpful things that you can do to begin to heal.  You may want to make a memory book for the lost child, buy a piece of jewelry for yourself that represents your loss, or plant a tree.  There are many other ways to memorialize the baby and to try to bring some closure to your experience.  Make sure, along the way, that you take care of yourself and pamper yourself.  Eat well, exercise and rest enough.  Take things slowly and don't get caught up in what other people think you should be doing.  If you aren't ready to go out one night, or if you don't want to go to the baby shower, don't let other people's opinions influence your decisions.


Try to make sure, during this time, to communicate with your partner.  People grieve in different ways and it's important for both of you to be able to share your experiences and to understand each other.  Neither one is right or wrong, but you don't want this experience to create a rift in your relationship.  Keep a journal as well so that you can express all of your feelings without having to share every last one with your partner or with someone else.  You may want to talk to other women who have experienced miscarriages or join a support group of similar women.  You'll be amazed, once you start talking, to find out how many other women have experienced miscarriages.  It's not a topic that most people share openly, but many women have had similar experiences.

Moving On

Approximately 15 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.  It's important to know that you are not alone with this experience.  Hopefully, once you are feeling stronger emotionally and physically, you'll decide if you want to try again.  Most of the time, there is little that a woman can do about having a miscarriage, and there is nothing that she did to cause it.  It is important to understand this so that you can let go of guilt and try to conceive again.  Hopefully, you'll look back on this experience as one little bump in the road to the beautiful baby that you have.  You'll also look back and see how you've grown from the experience.  Good luck as you look to the future.