Looking for causes of miscarriage
Unfortunately, we still don’t know why every miscarriage happens. That’s why Tommy’s has opened the UK’s only research centre dedicated to understanding miscarriage and preventing it.
Not knowing why it happened can be very difficult to come to terms with and can lead to some women and couples blaming themselves. But most miscarriages are not caused by anything you have or have not done.
However, there are some reasons why a miscarriage may happen that we do know about. Find out more about the cause of miscarriage.
Give yourselves time to grieve
Miscarriage can be physically painful, but for many couples the emotional fallout can be far more overwhelming. You may feel low for some time and may find it difficult to come to terms with the loss of your baby. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Try to express how you feel to your partner or a close friend. Sometimes, talking to your GP or a bereavement counsellor can also help. Find out more about grieving for your baby.
You may need time off work to recover or extra help at home if you have other children. While you are grieving, many couples experience a range of emotions including anger (especially if they don’t know why they miscarried), envy of other women’s pregnancies and crippling sadness. All these feelings are normal. You may feel numb for a long time, and many women feel utterly desolate on their due date and subsequent anniversaries. Everyone copes differently, but time does help you to heal.
What happens to my baby? Breaking the taboo
It is difficult for people to talk about the remains of a baby after miscarriage. But many bereaved parents need to know. The Royal College of Nursing has guidelines for finding out this information. No matter how early in pregnancy a miscarriage occurs, parents should be told the options available for disposing of their baby’s remains. Parents should be asked to give written consent for this. Some hospitals will arrange a cremation or burial, or you can organise a private memorial service or blessing. For more advice, talk to your hospital midwife or PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) officer, chaplain or bereavement counsellor.
Find out more about what happens to your baby after miscarriage.
Pregnant again after a miscarriage
You may wish to conceive again as soon as possible but are worried about having another miscarriage. After a miscarriage, you should have a follow-up appointment with the GP or hospital. This will allow you to discuss the best way to move forward. Some couples need time to prepare themselves emotionally and physically before trying again. When you are ready, try not to worry too much about your next pregnancy. Try to remember that most women will go on to have a normal pregnancy.
The best time to try again is a very individual decision. It should be when you and your partner feel emotionally and physically ready. If investigations are happening into the possibility of recurrent miscarriage, it’s good to wait until you have all the facts. Women with certain health problems may be prescribed medication to increase their chance of a healthy pregnancy.
Be aware that you are fertile in the first month after a miscarriage. So if you don’t want to become pregnant straight away, you should use contraception.
Find out more about trying again after a miscarriage.
Reading personal stories
If you want to hear from other people who have been through a similar experience to you, you can find personal stories of miscarriage on our Tommy's stories page.