No matter if a pregnancy was planned or a surprise, most parents who experience a miscarriage undoubtedly ache for the loss of their child. Miscarriages are often kept secret, whether it is because you feel that you don't have anyone who can relate, or you are just not ready to relive the loss over and over again. But discussing your miscarriage with your partner can help you both during this time of grief, and there are certain conversations every coupe should have after a miscarriage to keep things a little more steady.
According to WebMd, 15 to 25 percent of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. The data indicates that the number can be as high as 50 percent when taking into account undetected miscarriages that can occur before a woman misses her menstrual period. With so many parents choosing to wait until their second trimester and beyond to announce their pregnancy, it's likely that you have friends and relatives who have silently gone through miscarriages. Reaching out to the members of your community and being open about your loss can not only help you work through your sadness, but it may help others who have experienced it, as well.
Before turning to others, however, it is important to open the lines of communication with your partner. Here are some important conversations every couple should have after experiencing a miscarriage.
1. How Are You Feeling?
It's important for both parents to be able to acknowledge their grief, or lack thereof, and not judge the other for how they feel. A mother who just lost her child has had to deal with emotional pain as well as physical pain. She may feel that her sadness trumps even that of her spouse. A husband or boyfriend may feel that his job is simply to support his partner, and, as Time noted, may fear that expressing his own sadness can only make the situation sadder and more complicated. On the other hand, she may feel hurt if her partner isn't expressing the same amount of sorrow toward the loss. Being completely honest about your pain, sadness, hurt and anger will help both of you heal during this time.
2. This Is No One's Fault
It's normal to feel guilt after a miscarriage. You may worry whether those cocktails you had at the bar before finding out you were pregnant or sleeping on your stomach were what caused it to happen. Your partner may feel guilty if they wasn't 100 percent on board with this pregnancy in the beginning. The reality is, sometimes miscarriages happen for no discernible reason. Kids Health For Nemours states that the most common cause of pregnancy loss is a chromosomal problem that would make it impossible for the fetus to develop normally.
3. Should We Tell Anyone?
If you hadn't already shared the news of your pregnancy, you may wonder if it will be easier not to tell anyone about the miscarriage. That is a personal decisions based on your circumstances. But if you were actively trying to get pregnant, had already told people, or are having a difficult time coping with the loss, seeking support from your friends and relatives may help. There is a good chance you will find someone who has been through it and can impart some empathy and wisdom. If you want others to know, but aren't ready to talk about it, you should ask a close friend or relative to be your spokesperson.
4. How Should We Honor The Baby?
Some parents have a memorial service for their lost child. You can also memorialize your baby in more personal ways such as writing him or her a letter, or filling a memory box with items such as the pregnancy test, a journal, calendar pages, a hospital band, or even an article of clothing or stuffed animal that you bought for the baby.
5. When Will We Be Able To Make Love Again?
Physically, the experts at Columbia University recommend to wait anywhere from three to six weeks, depending on how far along you were when you miscarried. But it's always best to ask your doctor about your particular health needs. Emotionally, you should discuss these feelings with your partner. You may agree to take it slowly until you both feel comfortable resuming sexual activity.
6. Do We Want To Try To Get Pregnant Again?
After a miscarriage it is just as common to want to conceive again right away as it is to want to wait several months or stop trying altogether. If you are both on board to try again, the World Health Organization recommends a minimum interval of six months between miscarriage and pregnancy to minimize risks to the mother and fetus. If you aren't on the same page regarding whether or not to conceive again, you should consider speaking to a couple's counselor and your health professional to help you come to an agreement.
7. How Will We Handle Another Loss?
The good news is that according to the Mayo Clinic, only one percent of women will have two or more miscarriages. You should go into your second pregnancy with all the same hopes and happiness as your first. If you do experience a second miscarriage, talk to your doctor about performing chromosomal or blood tests, as well as tests to detect problems with your uterus. If there is an underlying cause, your doctor may be able to offer treatment which can help prevent subsequent miscarriages.