Your feelings and emotions after a miscarriage

Losing your baby at any stage of pregnancy can be extremely difficult. If you are looking at this page, you or your partner may have had a miscarriage, an ectopic or a molar pregnancy. We are so sorry for your loss.  

On this page:

Common feelings

Losing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy

Other people’s reactions

Looking after yourself

If you’re struggling to cope

This page is written with the woman or birthing person in mind, but we hope partners and other family members will find it helpful too.  

If you have been using a surrogate to have a baby and they miscarry, you may find it helpful to read this page, and our page for partners. Neither might feel exactly right, but we hope that you find some helpful information and support on both. Your fertility clinic or surrogacy agency may have suggestions for further support too.

Common feelings after miscarriage

You may have been deeply affected by the miscarriage. Or you may feel more removed. Many people who have lost a baby have talked about grief, guilt, emptiness, fear and loneliness. Sometimes it’s difficult to work out exactly what you are feeling and why. This is normal too. Knowing a bit about other people's experiences can sometimes help you make sense of your own. We’ve included lots of links to people’s stories throughout this page.

For the person who carried the baby it’s important to remember that complicated emotions will also be combined with the natural mood changes caused by changing hormone levels. You may experience mood swings and feel like crying a lot. Remember to allow for this. Be kind to yourself. We have more information on looking after yourself and finding support later on this page.

It is also normal to swing between different feelings, day to day, week to week – emotions after a loss can be unpredictable.

All the feelings we mention here are uncomfortable but entirely normal. However, if you start to worry about how you’re feeling, please try talking to your GP. You might also find it helpful to look at our page on grief, trauma and your mental health after miscarriage.

You may also find it helpful to look at our page on grieving you baby after a stillbirth. This has more support around coping with grief and other intense feelings.


You may feel grief for your lost baby, or for who they could have been. Your grief may be for your family and how different it will look now. You may be grieving the loss of hopes for this pregnancy. You may not have been able to meet or hold your baby but that doesn’t mean your grief is any less real. It may be a slightly different kind of grief. Sadly, not everyone understands it. You may find it helpful to share our information on supporting someone after a miscarriage.

“I am a mother of three – the unusual bit is that our three are not with us…I'd had hope and dreams for all my little ones, I'd loved them fiercely and wanted to protect them.” Sarah's story. Read more...


Miscarriage can come as a huge shock, especially if it was unexpected. You may need time to make sense of what has happened and to come to terms with it.

“One minute we were sitting happy and excited in the waiting room, ready to see our baby for the first time. The next we were being ushered to a different unit in the hospital to discuss how to have our baby removed. Shock doesn’t begin to describe it. I hadn’t had any indication there was anything wrong. I’d never even heard of a missed miscarriage. It didn’t feel real.”  Marta

Failure and guilt

It can be hard to accept that baby could stop growing inside you, perhaps without you knowing. You might feel as if you are responsible in some way for your baby’s loss. You might question all the things you’ve done over the last few weeks looking for a reason and wondering whether it was something you did that caused your miscarriage. Or you might worry that you somehow caused the loss because you weren't sure how you felt about your pregnancy.

These are usually irrational feelings but that doesn’t stop them eating away at you.

It’s important to know that miscarriages very rarely happen because of something you did or didn’t do.

You might find it helpful to look at our information on causes of miscarriage.

“What if there is something I can do next time to tip the odds in my baby's favour? Because right now, if someone with a medical qualification told me I had to spend my entire pregnancy hopping on one foot while only eating broccoli and wholemeal bread, I'd do it if I thought it would raise my chances of giving birth to another healthy baby.”Catherine's story. Read more...


Many people say they feel changed after losing a baby - partners as well as the woman or birthing person. You may feel you have a new identity as a parent as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test. For this to be taken away can leave you feeling physically and emotionally empty. It’s common to think nothing much matters anymore and that other people’s issues or work issues are trivial in comparison.

“When you get that positive pregnancy test, you are a mother-to-be. Whether it's 5, 10, or 26 weeks, you are changed.” Louise's story. Read more...

Loss of control

One of the most overwhelming things about pregnancy is that so much is out of your control. You can’t control when you get pregnant or whether you will stay pregnant. All you can do is follow advice and prepare your body as best as you can.  

Partners and other family members often feel this even more strongly. It’s hard to watch someone you care about go through both physical and emotional pain, without being able to do much to help. We have information and support for partners here.

You may never find out why you miscarried. This can increase your sense of powerlessness The loss of control extends into the future. You may want to try again but feel very scared about how you will cope if you have another miscarriage. Read more about pregnancy after a miscarriage.

“The worst part for me is the not knowing why. Why did my babies die? How could I carry a perfectly healthy child the first time and not the second or third? Why can't they test me to find out? Why? Why? Why?” Leanne 

Fear and anxiety

You may find yourself overcome with fear and anxiety about having another miscarriage or other complications in pregnancy. This is a natural reaction, particularly if you don’t know why you miscarried or if this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

These anxieties may get worse when you get pregnant. It may help to talk to someone about how you feel now. Your GP will be able to help you access the support you need.  

You may also sometimes feel more generalised anxiety. When something awful happens, it’s easier to imagine other things going wrong too.

Find out more about getting support after a miscarriage and mental health after a miscarriage.


You may find yourself feeling envious, resentful or unable to be happy for someone else when they announce their pregnancy or the birth of their baby. It can be particularly difficult if the timing coincides with important dates for you in relation to your own loss.

You probably can’t help these feelings. It may help to know that lots of people feel this way.  

“But it just hits you from nowhere. I walked into a toilet last week in a restaurant, smack bang into a pregnant lady. It almost ruined my day. I see friends get pregnant and I resent them.” Read more...

Loss of trust in your body

You may feel let down by your body. You may mistrust your body in future pregnancies and resent the fact that you can’t enjoy your pregnancy.

“‘The trouble with miscarriage is that most people don’t understand what it is you’ve actually lost. I’ve lost my babies. I’ve lost the ability to be excited about pregnancy. I’ve lost trust in my body, in hospitals and in statistics. Most of all I’ve lost faith, in myself and in the future.”  Melissa's story. Read more...

Loneliness and isolation

You may feel alone because nobody knew you were pregnant in the first place or if no one understands what you are going through. You may worry that your loss has affected your relationship with your partner (if you have one).

Think about whether you might want to tell your employer, a close colleague, friends or family. Being able to talk about your loss might help you to feel less lonely and better supported.

You may find it helpful to look at our information on miscarriage and your rights at work.

“I for one found the thought of waiting 3 months to tell our families and close friends impossible. The way they shared in our excitement and later our grief really meant something to us. I found it almost impossible to tell anyone at work, so I didn’t feel I could share my loss. I had a silent scream in my head I couldn’t let out.” Read more...


Losing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy

If your pregnancy wasn’t planned, you might be struggling with conflicting emotions. It could be that you were unsure about being pregnant at all. If you’re relieved that your future has gone back to where you thought it would be, you may also feel guilty about this.  

On the other hand, you may find that people assume you are feeling relieved when you are anything but, which can be very upsetting. You might feel that you didn’t expect to feel so strongly about the loss.


Other people’s reactions

It can be very difficult if other people’s reactions to your loss are unhelpful or upsetting.

Unfortunately, other people’s reactions may not always be helpful. It can be difficult to understand how it feels to lose a baby if you have never had a miscarriage. Even if someone has lost a baby in the past, they may have reacted or coped differently.

Although people usually mean well and want to help, reactions from your family, friends or colleagues may leave you feeling more upset and isolated.

Lots of couples feel their grief is being brushed aside or that their loss isn’t being acknowledged by other people. You might find people don’t even mention it at all, perhaps because they’re unsure whether you want them to.

“I was sick of hearing ‘it wasn’t really a baby yet’. Even the nurse in A&E said this to me. The second I saw that positive result, I had my whole future of being a mother in my mind. People’s reactions can be very hard to deal with.” Alex

Even when someone tries to reach out to you, you may feel like it isn’t enough.

Try to focus on the people who are offering support, who care and understand. You might also find it helpful to join our baby loss support group on Facebook. We also have information on other organisations that can support you.


Looking after yourself

There is no easy way to grieve after something like this happens, but there are some practical things you can do that may help.  

Allow yourself to feel sad

Try not to force yourself to feel happy, of feel guilty about feeling sad, even if a lot of time has passed since your miscarriage. Feeling sad is a healthy part of the grieving process. If you feelings of sadness have gone on a very long time and feel totally overwhelming, you may need some extra support. Have a look at our information on mental health and miscarriage.

Commemorate your baby

A lot of people like to find a special way to remember their baby or to do something that makes them feel like they’ve said a proper goodbye.  

Find out more about remembering your baby after a miscarriage.  

Talk to people

After a traumatic experience, it is often helpful to find ways to express how you feel.

Some people find keeping a journal helps them make sense of their feelings. Try to talk to someone about how you feel. If you have a partner, try to support each other. Be aware that you may have different feelings and ways of coping. Have a look at our information on your relationship after miscarriage.  

You can find peer support in many places, online, through volunteer phonelines or Facebook groups.

Sometimes it can help to talk to a professional counsellor, either as a couple or on your own. Your GP can refer you to NHS counselling services or you may be able to refer yourself. You can also contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to find a local private service.  


Emotional stress can make you very tired, but you may also find it difficult to sleep. See your GP if you’re unable to sleep at all or are not coping with your life because of lack of sleep.

Eat healthily

You may be finding it difficult to eat, but it’s important to try and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Avoid 'numbing' the pain

Avoid things that ‘numb’ the pain, such as alcohol. It'll make you feel worse once the numbness wears off.


If you’re finding it hard to cope

Many people feel overwhelmed by difficult feelings after a loss or losses. If you are finding it hard to cope with daily life, for a long time after your loss, you may want to look for extra support.

Talk to your GP if you are worried about how you or someone else is feeling. There is support available.

It is possible to develop mental health problems after losing a baby. Some women and birthing people may experience symptoms of depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Others may show symptoms of trauma or develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  

You can talk to a Tommy’s midwife for free. You can call them on 0800 0147 800, 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Or you can email them at [email protected]. Our midwives are specialists who can support you with any aspect of pregnancy loss that would be helpful for you. 

Review dates
Reviewed: 28 February 2024
Next review: 28 February 2027