Loss of trust in your body
You may feel let down by your body or that it has played tricks on you, particularly if you had a missed miscarriage and had no symptoms. You might feel a strange disconnect between you and your body. You may feel this same lack of faith in your body in future pregnancies and resent the fact that you’re unable to enjoy your pregnancy.
Don’t forget that you will be affected physically, as well as emotionally. Your hormone levels are rapidly changing after a miscarriage, and mood swings and tears are normal. It may take a bit of time before your body feels normal again. The mind can affect the body and vice versa. Try to take care of your physical and emotional health as best you can.
“‘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...
If your pregnancy wasn’t planned, you might be struggling with conflicting emotions. It could be that you were unsure about pregnancy and didn’t expect to feel so strongly about the loss. You may even feel guilty about being a little relieved. On the other hand, you may find other people assume you are feeling relieved when you are anything but, which can be very upsetting.
Some women find themselves feeling alone in their grief because nobody knew they were pregnant in the first place. It can also be very difficult if other people’s reactions to your loss are unhelpful or upsetting.
Some couples may also worry that their loss has affected their relationship with their partner.
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.
“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...
How do I cope with these emotions?
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 push yourself, feel guilty about feeling sad or try to force yourself to feel happy, even if a lot of time has passed since your miscarriage. Feeling sad is a healthy part of the grieving process.
Some women and partners develop mental health problems because of their grief. Depression and anxiety are common, but some women may develop other issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
If you’re worried that you or your partner are struggling to cope with your mental health after losing a baby, please talk to your GP. They will be able to help you get the treatment you need.
You can also talk to a Tommy’s midwife free of charge from 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 0147 800 or you can email them at [email protected]. Our midwives are also trained in bereavement support.
Commemorate your loss
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.
You and your partner have been through a traumatic experience and you may both find it helpful to find ways to express how you feel.
Some people find keeping a diary or journal helps them make sense of their feelings. Sometimes just the act of writing down your thoughts and feelings down is effective.
Try to talk to someone about how you feel. If you have a partner, it’s a good idea to try to support each other. Be aware that you may have different feelings and ways of coping. This doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.
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 struggling.
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.