Healing After a Miscarriage
Help for those who are hurting
Losses are always hard but some of the most complicated healings I’ve encountered in my therapy practice are helping those families who have endured one or even multiple miscarriages.
To compound the problem, many well meaning friends and loved ones often offer unhelpful and even hurtful remarks.
These remarks are not meant to be offensive but they often are to those who have endured this tragic event. Some of these hurtful comments include:
Well I guess that just wasn’t meant to be.
Don’t worry, you can always get pregnant again.
I guess God needed another angel.
This happened to me too, you just need to get over it.
Maybe you should have waited until you were further along to tell everyone about your pregnancy.
These comments are not only hurtful, but they can keep the griever stuck in pain, shame, guilt and sadness.
There are multiple resources I often recommend for hurting women.
1. The first is to seek the guidance of a qualified therapist, especially one that is well versed in grief and grief recovery. You’ll likely feel a number of emotions and it’s important you have someone to talk to about these range of emotions. You want to be able to chart a course toward recovery.
2. Consider enrolling in an 8 week Grief Recovery Program. This method is one of the only programs I’ve found that is able to address the pain of “What Might Have Been” and other strong emotions that are unique to a miscarriage.
3. Concentrate on self care, that might mean you return to doing yoga or deep breathing, start mediating or painting. You might want to try Reiki, acupuncture or join the Church choir. Start spending some time focusing on what would feed your spirit and your body to rebuild.
4. If your child was stillborn, you might want to consider having a custom portrait painted to remember them. There are some fantastic artists on etsy who would love to assist you with this beautiful reminder of your child.
5. Set up boundaries, you may be shocked to find the friends and family that step up to support you and also notice who abandons you. Be aware of energy vampires or those that want to keep you stuck in your trauma, be willing to let the negative energy go so you can focus on your own healing.
6. Create a vision board for the next year. Perhaps you get pregnant again, or maybe you adopt or perhaps life takes you in an exciting new direction and you start a non profit or find other ways to fill your desires. For whatever reason, your baby was here for the briefest of moments and that loss hurts. But your baby, still chose you to be its mother. To love them and plan for them even for the shortest of time. You don’t have to have a child walking the earth to be a loving mother. Remember your strength, your beauty and your desire to make the world a better place. That is the gift your baby gave to you.
7. Consider joining an online support group to assist you through this difficult time. You deserve to be loved and supported during this process.
8. Celebrate your recovery, it might be days, weeks or even months before you feel really well, but know you are getting better with every positive step you take and once you become stronger, you can be a source of love, light and encouragement to other women who have suffered the same loss.
Tonja is a marriage and family therapist student and the author of Cancer Free Emily and Miracle at Paradise Bridge.