How does a miscarriage affect mental health?
Experiencing the loss of a pregnancy is categorized as a traumatic event and is a loss that can greatly impact a person’s mental health. Research has shown that it is common for a person mourning the loss of a pregnancy to experience both short and long term symptoms of postnatal depression, anxiety, certain stress disorders and even post traumatic stress. Additionally, previous losses or previous mental health history of depression or anxiety can greatly impact the seriousness and duration of grieving.
What should I expect to experience after losing a pregnancy?
The loss of a pregnancy is unique in that there are no tangible memories of the little one lost, making it different from most other losses. In the case of a miscarriage, the grieving takes form in mourning the loss of hopes and dreams by you and those whom were anticipating the little one’s arrival. Throughout the grieving process, it is common to first experience some level of shock, followed by varying levels of shame, guilt, sadness and helplessness.
How do I cope with losing a pregnancy?
When mourning the loss of a pregnancy, the most important thing to remember is – do what feels right for you. What feels right could be impacted by a variety of factors, some of which include; if your physical health was compromised due to an ectopic pregnancy, if it was an early pregnancy loss and you had already announced it to others or it was a second trimester loss and you had already planned a baby shower.
No matter the specifics, many people find it helpful to create memories and a memorial for their lost little one, while others find it healing to keep a journal to document their grieving process. Most importantly, be sure to reach out to others for support while keeping in mind grieving takes time. Although it isn’t the solution many people yearn for when in pain, time is your friend. As cliche as it is, taking it one day at a time is often the most manageable, especially at first.
How does a miscarriage affect my relationship?
Navigating the loss of a pregnancy is a difficult situation to endure as a couple and is an event that can greatly impact a relationship. However, keep in mind that communication and being supportive of each other’s grieving process is vital. Additionally, having additional support outside of the relationship, such as a supportive group of friends or a therapist, can be essential outlets for you to process your grief. Remember to support one another while not being each other’s only source of support.
How does a miscarriage affect my sex life?
A miscarriage can definitely impact your sex life. But often, it isn’t the physical, more practical side of things that will hold someone back, it is the emotional. Keep in mind losing a pregnancy is a loss, and it is not uncommon for a person’s sex drive to decline when grieving. So, the key to this intimate work is taking it slow and communicating. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a while – and remember, intimacy doesn’t have to mean sex. If you are looking for somewhere to start and you want to feel emotionally close to your partner, maybe try for a low key date night and just talk.
Archives of Women’s Mental Health: Women’s Persistent Depressive and Perinatal Grief Symptoms Following a Miscarriage: The Role of Childlessness and Satisfaction with Healthcare Services
Journal of Women’s Health: Resolution of Depression and Grief during the First Year after Miscarriage: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of Couples-Focused Interventions
Mayo Clinic: Pregnancy Loss: How to Cope
New York Times: Getting Back to Sex after Pregnancy Loss
Psychiatry Research: Miscarriage and mental health: Results of two population-based studies