After a miscarriage

Recovering from a miscarriage can be very hard. Ask for support from the people around you if you need to. Your doctor and midwife can support you, too.

The hospital or unit that you are seen at will probably provide some information about miscarriage, including details about local support groups.

Everyone reacts differently after a miscarriage. You are entitled to any feelings you have, no matter when you lost your baby. Some people prefer to take time to recover, while others want to get back to normal life as soon as possible. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and listen to your body.

 

Going back to work

Before you leave the hospital, it may be helpful to ask your doctor about how long you should take off work to recover. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to take some time off.

Miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, so remember that you may need time to recover emotionally as well as physically. Your partner may also need to take some compassionate leave. This may be to recover emotionally or to care for you.

If you need time off work after your miscarriage, this should be treated as pregnancy-related sickness. Your doctor or GP can give you a sick note (also known as a fit note) that you can give to your employer.

Emotional recovery after miscarriage

Emotional recovery after a miscarriage can be very difficult. Many women start imagining their baby’s future from the moment they knew they were pregnant. You may need some time to mourn your baby and all the hopes and dreams you had for them.

Some women and couples don’t feel comfortable with this grief. They may feel it’s unjustified because they never met their baby. It doesn’t matter how far along you were, nothing should stop you from grieving for the baby you made. Find out more about your feelings after a miscarriage

Getting support

For some people, having a miscarriage is not something you necessarily ‘get over’. Many women and couples feel that they learn to cope with the loss, rather than get over it.

Talk to the people who can best support you. This may be your partner, a family member or friend.

“For me, it would have been helpful to know that it is ok and normal to want to talk about it. People think because they may not have told anyone about the pregnancy they can’t talk about their miscarriage. But they may find that other people have been through similar experiences.”
Sam

If you feel you are not coping, no matter how long after the miscarriage, ask for help. You may need more support such as professional counselling. Find out how to get support after a miscarriage.

If you have a partner, be prepared to give each other space and time to grieve. You and your partner may react to a miscarriage very differently. Everyone has their own way of grieving and it may help to accept and respect those differences. Find out more about your relationship with your partner after a miscarriage.

Pregnancy ads

At Tommy's we often hear from women and men who are bombarded with ads promoting maternity and baby products after loss, which can be really distressing.

Find out how to stop pregnancy ads

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.

Sources

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2011) The Investigation and treatment of couples with Recurrent First-Trimester and Second Trimester Miscarriage. Green Top Guideline No 17

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    Last reviewed on February 5th, 2020. Next review date February 5th, 2023.

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    Comments

    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Amy Beavis (not verified) on 13 Mar 2018 - 17:12

      Hello
      I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. The baby was measured at 5-6 weeks with no heartbeat. Me and my husband desperately want our bundle of joy. How long do you suggest to wait until we can start trying again? There’s so much contradicting information: some say you don’t have to wait, others say 2 periods, others say 6 months.
      Thank you Amy

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Mar 2018 - 15:39

      Hi Amy,
      I am so sorry to hear that you experienced a miscarriage. As long as the bleeding has stopped and you are physically well and emotionally ready then you can try again. The most common advice is to wait until you have had a full normal period before trying again, however this is to make it easier to date the next pregnancy. The 6 months is if you had a molar pregnancy however this does not sound like it was the case for you. If we can support you further then please do email us, [email protected] Best wishes x

    • By Vikki (not verified) on 2 Jan 2018 - 21:02

      I lost my little baby over Christmas. I had a scan at 9.1/2 weeks and all was well, the baby measured perfectly and it's little heart was beating. By the time I had my 12 week scan, I was almost 13 weeks pregnant and the scan showed no heart beat and only around 1 week's extra growth since the 9.1/2 week scan!! I was booked in to have the baby removed surgically but in the end it came away by itself at home, last Thursday 28th Dec, at just short of 14 weeks. My question is how long should I expect the bleeding to continue and how long would you normally expect to pass large clots? The hospital told me that the bleeding might last for 3 weeks but said nothing about the clots continuing? it is 5 days now since the baby came away and I am still passing some quite large clots, I would love some advice as to what I should expect over the next week or two please.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jan 2018 - 15:47

      Hi Vikki,
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby and what you are going through at the moment, I hope you are looking after yourself.
      The bleeding can last for several weeks, the large clots should stop after about 7-10 days. As long as you do not feel faint, dizzy, unwell or in a lot of pain or have temperature then stay at home, rest and drink plenty of water. If we can support you further then please do call us on 0800 0147 800 or you can email [email protected], we are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm. Take care x

    • By Sara (not verified) on 27 Nov 2017 - 07:40

      Hi,
      I'm currently trying to recover from an interstitial ectopic pregnancy for which I had emergency surgery as it could have been life threatening. This is now my 5th pregnancy loss in a row and each one seems to be unusual or rare. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to recover emotionally as I am slowly loosing all hope and I grieve my chance to be a natural mother. I feel overwhelming feelings of being useless as my body is a failure and I feel guilty for taking time off work as physically I am almost better. This is the first time I've contacted any support groups but I feel I have reached rock bottom now and didn't know where else to turn.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2017 - 11:35

      Hi Sara
      Thank you for your comment and reaching out to us. I'm so sorry to hear that you have now had 5 miscarriages. I would advise that you see your GP for referral to your local recurrent miscarriage unit so that you can have further investigations as to why this keeps happening. Please also discuss how you are feeling emotionally as they can also refer you for counselling and emotional support to help with the way you are feeling. Whilst it is very natural to feel that you are losing all hope or are a failure, it is important to get some support to help you with these and other feelings to help your emotional recovery. You also need to allow yourself time and space to grieve for these losses. Hopefully you have support of your partner and other family.
      Try not to feel guilty about not being able to go back to work-wait until you feel emotionally as well as physically ready-again your GP can help here by providing sickness certificates etc
      Please do not hesitate to contact Tommy's PregnancyLine 0800 0147 800 if you would like to talk to a Tommy's midwife.

      Another organisation that provides support is the Miscarriage Association-I have attached links that you may find helpful:

      https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
      https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/
      They also have a help line-01914 200799

      Take care
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Samantha (not verified) on 25 Jul 2019 - 22:26

      Sorry for your loss. I also recently lost my baby at 18 week. I had 2 miscarriage one is ectopic and they remove my left tube.
      Don’t worry god will test us our patience. Hope for the best . Your will be amazing mother.
      I was devastated when I had 3 miscarriage, I still have hope with one tube . Good luck

    • By Victoria (not verified) on 17 Nov 2017 - 22:54

      Miscarrying at 12 weeks was awful :/ after 9 previous losses I thought I'd been through the toughest thing already til this happened.. each day it haunts me & im petrified I'll never have a baby; although adoption is an option further down the line :) I don't know how we deal with it; we just do !! There's always people who just disregard what you've been through; those who act ignorantly to your needs and the way you're feeling.. it helped me and my partner to bury our baby in a remembrance rose plant we bought for her & to make up a box of our memories of bump & scans & items we'd bought early on... I'm very sceptical about 'whether I'm destined to have my own baby' or not... but I know I'll always have hope in my heart... this miscarriage has given me that along with the support of my partner through everything.. we lost our baby in march this year and it still hurts every day; everyday we get stronger & we know our baby is watching over us with the rest of our angels.. march 2017 baby hope <3 xx

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Nov 2017 - 09:28

      Hi Victoria.
      I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your baby in March. Experiencing a miscarriage at any gestation is terribly difficult, and we as midwives here at Tommy's know this only too well. We receive many messages, emails and calls every day from women, and men, who have experienced loss. If you feel that a friendly chat with us would be useful to you, please do call. We are not trained counselors, but we can talk you through your thoughts and feelings and we can make suggestions where you might benefit from counselling/self help etc.
      Please take good care of yourself! :)

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Jun 2017 - 18:07

      hi, I had a miscarriage at around 6 weeks. what made it hard was that I went in for a scan and saw the baby and its heart going strong, then that night I ended up loosing it, and then being shown the empty space on a scan the next morning and being told id lost it - but not to worry you can try again in a few weeks. not very comforting words. that was about 7 months ago, and I still find myself thinking about it all the time, especially as I am approaching my predicted due date. I find it hard to talk about it, as everyones response is "it was just one of those things", "everything happens for a reason" etc. am I just being silly? should I not be feeling like this?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Jun 2017 - 11:28

      Hi, Very glad that you have found our site as I hope it will help you to understand that there is no 'right or wrong' way to grieve. You are certainly not being silly and if you need to talk to someone you can call us on 0800 0147 800. Best wishes x

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 May 2017 - 09:01

      I found out I had miscarried when I was about 6 weeks. I was devastated, but to make it even harder I had an Unknown location pregnancy and my body is till miscarrying the pregnancy tissue even 8 weeks down the line. I am having repeat blood tests once a week to see how the hormone level is declining. It has been such an emotional roller coaster especially as myself and husband want to try again as soon as possible.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 May 2017 - 16:28

      So sorry to hear this. It can take several weeks for the hormone levels to decrease to normal pre-pregnancy levels and for the bleeding to stop. I hope that this is nearly at an end for you. Best wishes from Tommy's midwives and thanks for posting. x

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