Coping with Pregnancy after a Loss: How am I Supposed to Feel?

pregnancy after miscarriagePregnancy can be a difficult, emotionally fraught period even at the best of times, and this can be even more true if you’ve suffered the tragedy of miscarriage in the past. Having suffered an early miscarriage five years before I eventually managed (through IVF) to conceive again, I know how easy it is to worry there could be something wrong with you that will cause history to repeat itself, but know that you’re not alone. One in four women will experience this heartbreak (and even higher if you take into account miscarriages that happen before the mother even realises she’s pregnant), many of whom then go on to have healthy babies in the future, so there is real hope!

A New Beginning

The hardest part of a pregnancy after a miscarriage is trying not to compare your situation now to that of the past. You may well feel guilt, or want to stay detached from your pregnancy in case something happens again. This is all perfectly normal and a part of the grieving process. Many say it helps to acknowledge the point when your previous miscarriage occurred, both as a way to gain closure and to prove that the tragedy of the past is unlikely to happen again. With every milestone that passes you will find it easier to accept and embrace your upcoming parenthood.

Working Together

It goes without saying that your partner will be experiencing a lot of the same emotions as you are, so will likely to be able to understand and support you. Bear in mind it’s not just a one-way street, however, and they are likely to need some support themselves. Working together can really help in situations where either one of you alone may struggle.

Announcing Your Pregnancy

When to announce your current pregnancy is a matter of personal choice. Some decide to wait as long as possible, while others tell close friends and family members as soon as they can, so that they have a support network in place, should they want to talk about their feelings. Think about what's best for you and your partner.

Other Support

The medical community is well used to situations such as yours, so don’t feel ashamed to turn to your doctor or midwife for support. You can arrange for extra scans to put your mind at ease, perform tests to ensure there’s no existing conditions that put you at higher chance of miscarrying (and if they come up positive, you are then in a position to take steps to mitigate them), or just talk through any concerns you have. Remember, prenatal services are there to help you, so be sure to take advantage of them!