Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Odds are you have experienced pregnancy loss or know someone who has. There are many resources devoted to dealing with overcoming the pain and heartbreak of a miscarriage. But what happens when you get pregnant again? Instead of the exuberance of knowing that you are creating and sustaining a life, many women experience fear, stress and anxiety. Every trip to the bathroom is met with worry that something is wrong. Stomach cramps or twinges are met with anxiety that the baby is in trouble. If your thoughts are overcome with stress over miscarrying again, please read on for tips on pregnancy after miscarriage.
Find a supportive community
Support from family and friends is critical after a miscarriage and chances are you have reached out to someone who has gone through the same thing. Contact that person again to see if they will support you during your pregnancy. Simply talking may be able to alleviate some of your fears. There are also many online communities via websites and message boards where you can connect with other mothers who are pregnant after miscarriage. Many communities have in-person support groups as well. Whether it is a miscarriage support group or specifically pregnancy after miscarriage, start with your doctor’s office or hospital for recommendations.
Come up with a plan with your doctor
Doctors may be insensitive to a mother’s fears without realizing it, since they see pregnancy loss so often. Talk to your doctor about your fears and come up with a game plan. Whether it is increased visits during the first trimester, additional blood work or extra ultrasounds, try to approach your doctor with a plan that helps ease your fears. There might not be much they can do, but knowing that they are understanding of your situation may help. If your doctor still seems insensitive, it may be time to find someone more understanding.
Try to relax
Easier said than done, right? The thought of losing another pregnancy may be all you can think about during a subsequent pregnancy. It may be hard, but try to put it out of your mind. Let go of stress by clearing your head, doing yoga, or meditating. Come up with a mantra that you repeat every time you have a “negative” thought. Instead of “I’m going to lose this pregnancy too,” replace it with “I am growing a healthy and happy baby.” Repeating these words will reassure you and help focus on the little life growing inside you rather than worrisome thoughts.
Try an alternative treatment
Acupuncture, chiropractic care, prenatal massage, prenatal yoga, and light exercise like walking can help ease the stress of pregnancy after miscarriage. Taking the time to distress and focus on your well-being is beneficial in any pregnancy let alone a pregnancy after miscarriage. Taking care of yourself is the number one priority.
Take it one week at a time
Many women (and husbands too) can disassociate themselves from a pregnancy after miscarriage for fear of attaching to a baby they may lose again. Others get overwhelmed thinking about the future. Instead, just take it a week at a time. Focus on the milestones you are accomplishing that week: your belly is a bit rounder, your breasts more tender. Think about how the baby is developing. Treat yourself to something special at the end of the week and celebrate the little accomplishments until you are at a comfortable point.
Take a social media break
Odds are if you are pregnant, so are your friends. Seeing updates and pictures from friends who were due around the same time as your angel baby may keep you in the past. Try taking a break from social media sites and pregnancy forums where reminders are everywhere and focus on your health and the health of your new pregnancy.
Nothing will take away the pain and sadness of losing a pregnancy. It can be traumatic to get pregnant again. Know that while miscarriage is more common than realized, most women go on to have healthy, happy pregnancies after loss.
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Photo credits: B&W woman on beach (adapted) by meagenjean (CC); Woman getting ultrasound (adapted) by Don Richards (CC); Pregnant woman on bed (adapted) by akire_yrko (CC); Woman’s belly (adapted) by thevelvetbird (CC); Woman reading (adapted) by span112 (CC).