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Loss of a Child: Miscarriage

Pregancy is one of the most joyous times for soon to be parents. Mothers and fathers have daydream of how their child will be in the future. Parents are very excited about their child's life milestones and look forward to the opportunity to share their world with their child.

Unfortunately, not all couples are able to have a smooth pregnancy. About one in four pregnant couples go through the painful experience of a miscarriage. This may have a devastating impact on the psychological and emotional health of the couple. 

Both the father and mother equally feel the pain of the loss of a child resulting from a miscarriage. Fathers grieve as much as the mothers. However, it is important to be aware that there are stages a mother may go through after experiencing such event since she was carrying the baby. Some may go through all the stages while others may go through some. These stages include:

Grief of the loss: Although, a mother may have never physically been with the baby, the idea and sentiment of having a child is a powerful emotion that should not be down played or dismissed. She can grieve about losing her baby that was a part of her.

Denial and Isolation:  There is slight hope that the doctor may have been wrong. A mother may just want to be left by herself and not be in the mood to engage with other people like friends, family, and/or her significant other.

Anger: A mother may blame herself and believe it was something she did wrong. She may have doubts about her fertility and this may have not been the first time having a miscarriage. Also its not uncommon for her to be frustrated towards her partner. 

Bargaining: A mother may try to do things differiently for her new pregnancy in hopes of avoiding things she assumes that may have gone wrong during the last pregnancy. 

Depression:After dealing with the impact of a pregnancy loss and going through the stages, depression may set in. This can result in loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, loss of interests in activities, decreased concentration, hopelessness/guilt, and negative emotional feelings being around newborns or seeing reminders of pregnancy.

Acceptance: Although the pain and memory of the miscarriage is present, as time progresses the emotional wounds may slowly weaken in intensity.

The are many ways a mother can cope with a miscarriage:

  1. Acknowledge the loss of your baby. Speak to a psychiatrist/therapist about what you’re going through.
  2. Make a ritual to honor your baby every year, like light a candle, plant a tree or hold a ceremony.
  3. Get closure by saying goodbye in the form of writing a letter.
  4. Keep a personal journal and focus on self-care.
  5. Seek child loss support groups.

Remember that your feelings are normal and it is not your fault. 

We at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions are hear to assist you, if you like to know more please call (703)955-0916 or email info@gpsmindset.com

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Author
Dr. Ifeanyi Olele Ifeanyi Olele, DO, MBA, MS, is a board-certified psychiatrist who sees adolescent and adult patients in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions. Dr. Olele is a dedicated psychiatrist in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma-related stress disorders, and attention deficit disorders. Dr. Ifeanyi Olele is one of the few psychiatrists who utilizes psychotherapy (talk therapy) as part of his treatment plan.

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