A mother who has lost her baby in the womb is hurting beyond mending. To lose a baby before welcoming him or her into the world is an indescribable experience. A miscarriage happens before 20 weeks, after that it is a pregnancy loss, and just before or during delivery it is still birth.
During your pregnancy, you and your baby build a relationship that no one else can understand. Your baby shares your body, communicates with you in loving ways and encourages you to transform your entire life.
When a miscarriage or loss happens, your baby is gone and it hurts so much. You never had the chance to see your baby smile. Your baby never saw your happy face or the home you prepared for his or her arrival. Piece of your heart is ripped out of your chest and gone far away never to be found again.
People tell you that things would be alright. They say that your baby has gone to a better place. But what do they know? You know that the best place for your baby to be is at home with you resting on your bosom. You must know though that they are just trying to help and only mean well. Here are 8 subtle strategies to help you cope with your painful emotions after a miscarriage or loss.
8 subtle ways to cope with a miscarriage or loss
Physical and emotional support for loss experienced 20 weeks + after
Navigating pregnancy loss in the second or third trimester is a challenging experience with an intense emotional and physical recovery. We designed this box to support you or help you support someone through this experience. Included in this kit are products to use through recovery and information to help navigate the process, as well as bracelets designed to memorialise the loss. Nothing about this is easy or fair, but you’re not alone and you’ll get through this.
1. Deal with your feelings
It is normal to have a range of feelings stirring inside you after a miscarriage or loss and it is best to deal them in a subtle manner. You may be in denial of what happened to you, feel guilty and express anger towards yourself and everyone around you. You may feel embarrass to face people who knew that you were recently pregnant and envious of other women who are carrying healthy pregnancies.
Depression may hit you hard for a while. Then, feelings of yearning to be pregnant again and loneliness may linger on. Intense emotions may cause you to make drastic decisions such as pushing for a divorce or isolating yourself from everyone, but you must know that the feelings are short-lived. Just acknowledge each emotion as it happens and trust that things will get better once it has passed.
2. Grieve your loss
It is very important to grieve after a miscarriage or loss. Some women go back out to work or socialise with friends after losing a baby and tell themselves that they feel fine. This is a sign of being in denial and not dealing with your feelings. It is very unhealthy to bottle up emotions related to having a traumatic experience.
After a miscarriage, allow yourself to come to terms with your loss. If you feel numb towards the happening, take some time to think about your situation. Imagine yourself being pregnant and think about how you felt about your baby when everything was going great. If these thoughts stir up any uncomfortable feelings in you, let yourself cry and sulk for as long as it takes. Grieving is a healthy process for you.
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- “Seeds of Hope are easily sown with Forget-Me-Not seeds to plant, grow and nurture. The sensitive blessing on the back of the packet begins: “I am planting these seeds in remembrance of you. As I tuck them into the soil, I am planting my hope for the future while I bury my dreams of holding you in my arms.”
- Nurturing Aromatherapy Candle To Comfort A Healing Heart. A lighted candle symbolizes hope, love and memory. Light this candle as a birth remembrance or a loving tribute on a baby loss anniversary. The Light of My Heart Candle is made of clean- burning soy wax with a lead-free cotton wick, and is infused with a cherished blend of pure essential oils.
- Healing Heart Mist is a blend of pure essential oils traditionally used to ease sadness and soothe spirits. A comforting way to bring clarity and calm. Spray it into the air, over your body and onto your linens to help your transition from grief to peace. .
3. Talk or write out your thoughts
Talking or writing out your thoughts about your miscarriage or loss is a very healthy step in the healing process. Pouring your heart out when alone helps you to deal with all your feelings. Some people talk into a mirror, voice recorder or video camera, which takes a lot of courage. Writing out your feelings in a journal is a more subtle approach as you do not see or hear yourself.
Whatever you choose, do this strategy alone so you can think, speak, write and express all your concerns fully. Having someone else in the room with you may alter your freedom to speak about what is on your mind. It is common to figure out the answers to questions that may nag you at this point.
4. Seek spiritual guidance
After a miscarriage or loss, seeking comfort in spiritual guidance is very helpful. VeryWellMind states that spirituality can be religious traditions centering on the belief in a higher power or a holistic belief in an individual connection to others and to the world as a whole. Whether you are religious or not, after a miscarriage, you may try prayer, meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
According to MayoClinic, spirituality helps you with your mental health. You feel a sense of purpose as you uncover what is important in life. You connect to the world which can lead to inner peace during a difficult time. You release control helping you to realise that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in your life. When you share spiritual expression, it helps you to build relationships and expand your support network. You will lead a healthier life and cope with stress better.
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5. Share your experience with someone
Talking to a family member, friend or therapist helps you to deal with your painful emotions after a miscarriage or loss. During a difficult time, it is healthy to express how you feel aloud while a listening ear offers you the opportunity to let it out. It is even better if the person can offer you encouraging words of consolation.
While talking to someone about your miscarriage or pregnancy loss is beneficial, it may be difficult to do. You may not feel ready to express your feelings as you have still not come to terms with the happening. One way to start is to be simple and share whatever information you are comfortable sharing. A therapist may probe you to explore your feelings while a relative or friend may want to know in what ways they can help. Be ready for advice that you may or may not want to hear.
6. Write a book, do art, drama, sing, dance or play an instrument
Writing a book, drawing, painting, acting, singing, dancing or playing an instrument is an effective way of coping with mixed feelings related to a miscarriage or loss. Healthline states that expressive therapy goes beyond traditional talk therapy. It focusses on creative outlets as a means of expression. This therapy can be especially helpful for people who find it difficult to talk about their thoughts and emotions.
Your outlet gives you the opportunity to express how you feel about your miscarriage or loss. Using gloomy symbols, depressing metaphors, dark colours, slow music, dreary tones and melancholic moods in your works can help you to represent your emotions boldly. If you complete a novel, song, painting, skit or dance performance during your healing process, you may consider selling your work of art if you are up to it.
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7. Plant a flowering tree in memory of your loved one
Creating a miscarriage memorial is a brilliant way to cope with your painful emotions. Planting a flowering tree allows you to assist with nurturing a living thing while you come to terms with your loss. Preparing the soil, planting the seed, and making sure the plant gets water, sunlight and protection from pests is a relaxing experience that gives you a sense of purpose.
Choose a beautiful flowering plant such as lily which is the most common flower associated with death. Lilies symbolise the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. The white lily expresses majesty and purity, where as white stargazer lilies specifically symbolise sympathy.
8. Join a support group
Miscarriage happens to many women who knew they were pregnant so know that you are not alone. Join a support group for women who are going through the same experience as you are. A number of nonprofit organisations around the world aim to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and offer support services. Here are some links to articles, forums and organisations that offer support groups for miscarriage:
- Pregnancy Loss Support Organisations
- Miscarriage Helpline
- Loss and Grief in Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Babies who live only in our hearts
- Coping with miscarriage – Baby Centre Community
- Miscarriage support – What to Expect Forum
- Support groups on Facebook
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