Also known as spontaneous abortion, miscarriage is the sudden end of the pregnancy that occurs prior to week 20 of the pregnancy. It is called miscarriage when the fetus is incapable of surviving on its own. Even though miscarriage is the most common of all early pregnancy complications, no woman wants to deal with one. Unfortunately, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 10 to 25 percent of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Recovering from a miscarriage involves healing physically and emotionally. The physical healing process can take up to 1 month or 6 weeks but the emotional healing process can take much longer. Here’s how to recover from a miscarriage.
Allowing yourself to rest and recover is the first step to physically recovering from a miscarriage. Depending on how far along in the pregnancy you were before miscarrying, you may suffer from various side effects. Light spotting or bleeding, menstrual cramp pain and breast discomfort or leaking milk are all possible after miscarrying. These conditions should clear up on their own in about 1 week.
Until the bleeding stops and you’ve healed internally, there are some steps you can take to prevent getting an internal infection. Use sanitary pads instead of tampons, don’t use public pools or hot tubs, shower instead of take baths and refrain from sexual intercourse. Every woman is different; your doctor will advise you on how long you should practice these infection prevention measures.
Take prescribed medication
If your doctor has prescribed medication to aid in your recovery, make sure you take it as directed. Your doctor may have prescribed an antibiotic, pain medication and even anti-depressants. Continue taking the medication as directed even if you no longer have any symptoms.
Refrain from strenuous exercise
Vigorous exercise can exacerbate any internal injuries and delay healing. Your doctor will advise you on how long to wait before starting an exercise program.
Allow yourself time to grieve
Most women feel some measure of loss after a miscarriage, no matter how far along she was. For some women, they feel as though the baby had been born and then died, while others may only feel a small amount of regret. Allowing yourself time to grieve is an important part of the emotional recovery from a miscarriage. Allow yourself time to come to terms with your loss, especially before conceiving again.
Avoid insensitive people
Other women are often at a loss of how to react to someone who has had a miscarriage unless they themselves have had one. They may not understand the depth of trauma incurred by the loss, and they may make insensitive comments. Avoid these kinds of people and situations if possible, until you have the inner strength to handle their comments.
Have realistic expectations
Your emotional recovery from the miscarriage can take some time. Don’t expect too much of yourself or your partner at first. Your partner is likely to be grieving as well so allow them time to come to terms with the loss. Realize that the emotional pain from the termination of your pregnancy will not be overcome by getting pregnant again. Only time will allow you to fully heal.
Avoid pregnant women and babies until you’re ready
It may be very painful to have to be excited for a pregnant friend, or play with other people’s babies, after suffering a miscarriage. Allow yourself time to heal emotionally before you interact with pregnant women and babies.
Deal with depression
After suffering a miscarriage there is a very real possibility of becoming depressed. Loss of appetite, insomnia, feeling down all the time, feelings of guilt and hopelessness are just some of the symptoms of depression. Talk with your doctor if you feel any of these or other symptoms of depression.
If you experience severe cramps of bleeding after returning home, call your doctor right away. Your physical symptoms should clear up within 1 to 2 weeks; if they persist longer than that then call your doctor.
Depression is a very real and serious condition. If you suspect that you, or your partner is depressed, seek medical help right away.