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While it’s not her fault, the guilt and shame prevent a woman from talking about it.
Five Stages of Grief
- Shock and denial. She gets her period, an ultrasound shows no heartbeat, or she’s told the pregnancy can’t continue. There’s a sense that the news is unreal. It’s not something she could anticipate. She may have some pregnancy symptoms like nausea. How could this be possible when she was pregnant this morning?
- Anger. She doesn’t understand why it’s happening to her. It’s not fair because she did everything she could to have a healthy pregnancy. Partners and friends aren’t going through the same physical experience and they don't have the same timeline for grieving.
- Bargaining. She thinks that if she does certain things, the next pregnancy will work out. She looks at what may have gone wrong and what she can do better next time. She may decide to eliminate all toxins, take different prenatal vitamins or get more sleep. The changes she makes won’t necessarily prevent another miscarriage, but she wants to make sense of things and take action. She feels out of control, so she wants to try to control some aspect of the situation. How can she fix it so it works out in the future?
- Depression. She’s aware the loss is real and she can’t do anything to change it. Reality sets in that she can’t control the situation. Each woman has her own time table for this stage. She may need to call in an expert if it impacts day-to-day survival.
- Acceptance. She realizes she can live with the experience and move forward. She may slip back to sadness upon realizing she hasn’t thought about the miscarriage for a few days. The miscarriage stops defining daily existence.
These stages aren’t linear. It’s okay to move back and forth through these stages. Take the time necessary to recover.
Listen as Dr. Carly Snyder joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to share what happens when a woman loses a baby.
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