When a pregnancy ends unexpectedly, it takes a huge toll on the body as well as the mind.
One in five women suffers a miscarriage, which most often occurs in the first trimester (the first 12 weeks). In fact, miscarriage after IVF is as common as miscarriage in non-assisted pregnancies.
While miscarriage is unfortunately all-too-common, it does not make the process any easier. There is still a culture of silence surrounding the topic. What is already a lonely grieving process is made even lonelier without the right information and support. After returning home from the hospital or doctor’s office, many women feel they have no one to talk to. Friends and family are sympathetic but they do not fully understand your physical and emotional pain.
If you have suffered a miscarriage, it is important that you take the time you need to heal both physically and emotionally. Above all, make yourself your first priority.
- Rest: Sleep is healing. Get plenty of rest in the first week, particularly in the first 24 hours. If you find it difficult to sleep, try drinking warm milk or stretching before bed.
- Medication: Abdominal cramping and pain are common – especially in the first few days. Consult with your doctor before taking painkillers like ibuprofen. If the pain increases with time, please seek medical attention.
- Monitor Your Temperature: Take your temperature in the evening for the first 5 days. If your temperature rises above 99.7°F, contact your doctor. A fever may indicate an infection in the body.
- Maintain Proper Hygiene: To avoid infection, be sure to shower at least once a day throughout the first week. Do not take baths or enter public swimming pools. As you continue bleeding for about a week, pads are recommended over tampons. After the first week, you may experience spotting for another week.
- Avoid Sex: Sexual intercourse should be avoided until bleeding has stopped to prevent the risk of infection.
- Eat Healthy: To heal and nourish your body, eat balanced meals and drink 8 glasses of water per day.
- Talk About It: When you’re ready, find a few people you feel safe talking with about your feelings and express your needs: to your partner, friend, family member, and/or a professional. Although they mean well, relatives and friends tend to say unhelpful (or hurtful) statements for lack of knowledge. Therefore, many women have found it is important to identify and rely on a core group.
- Select a Spokesperson: To avoid retelling the sad news, enlist the help of a friend or family member to tell others.
- Treat Yourself: Buy flowers and chocolate, see a movie, get a manicure, or whatever small activity that makes you feel a little better.
- Exercise: When you are up for it, start taking walks. The endorphins – and the act of leaving the house – will boost your mood.
- Memorialize the Loss: Many women and couples find comfort in small rituals – planting a tree, holding a personal memorial, lighting a candle. Anything to express the grief you feel in a personally meaningful way.
- Join a Group: While local support groups are an option, social media has become an excellent platform for community building. For example, the Instagram account @IHadAMiscarriage curates a series on loss journeys. Reading other women’s stories can help you feel understood in your healing process.
You are not alone. Opionato was designed to be the comforting voice you can rely on through the ups and downs of your fertility journey - all from the comfort of your own home. To speak with an Opionato fertility expert, please email us at [email protected]