When You Lose an Unborn Child—How Can You Cope with Your Emotions?
From a statistical standpoint, a miscarriage is not all that abnormal. But who wants to hear about statistics and medical jargon when you are experiencing a major loss?
No matter how common losing a baby during pregnancy might be, it feels completely different when you are the one going through it. The biggest thing you can (and should) take away from that statistic is that you are not alone in your grief.
While the loss of an unborn child can feel completely overwhelming, taking the time to physically and mentally heal will be a big help. How can you accomplish that? You can start by finding emotional support by leaning on family and friends, reaching out to other women who have experienced similar scenarios, and seeking therapy to help you manage the symptoms of your grief.
Aside from reaching out for support, though, how can you cope with the emotional effect of a pregnancy loss?
Understanding Your Emotions
Because miscarriages are not necessarily uncommon, you might feel it necessary to hide your emotions away or downplay them, as if it isn’t supposed to be big deal. This is actually a coping mechanism. But ignoring your emotions will not make them go away.
As a result, you may experience:
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty staying focused
- Changes in your appetite
- Thoughts of self-harm
All of these emotions should be taken seriously. The longer you ignore them, the worse they can become.
Part of the grieving process after a major loss is accepting what happened—and how you feel about it. Once you choose to accept how your feelings, you can start to process those emotions in a healthy and productive way.
Understanding Your Rights
Undoubtedly, people in your life will give you advice during this difficult time. While most of this advice comes from a good-hearted place, remember that it is up to you to understand your rights in dealing with your loss and what you are comfortable with.
For example, it is perfectly okay to be sad one moment and feel joyful the next (even if some don’t think so). Not only is it okay to grieve, but it is also okay to remember. In fact, it’s actually vital to look back on the happy parts of your pregnancy with fondness while still grieving.
Additionally, understand that you can reach out to medical professionals who worked with you along the way. Sometimes, getting answers or clarifications can make a big difference in how you handle certain aspects of your loss. Being told that you have lost a child can make you go into shock. So it’s good to talk to your doctors after a while about what happened, possible reasons why, and what will be next.
Working Through Pregnancy Loss
Coping with the loss of a pregnancy on your own can feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be the case. As noted at the outset, help is available.
For one, you can reach out to the people closest to you and lean on them for comfort and support. It is perfectly okay to tell them what you need from them. They care about you. So allow them to be there for you in a way that fits those needs.
Moreover, it is also helpful to reach out to a professional counselor in times of grief and loss, especially after losing a baby. Encourage your partner to do the same so that you can go through this process together. When you address your grief together, neither of you won’t feel so alone in what you are going through.
Finally, one of the most important things to remember is to give yourself time. There is no “perfect” timeline for coping with the loss of a pregnancy. Everybody’s situation is unique. And the stages of grief impact every person differently. It is your journey to make the way it works best for you.
If you are struggling with the emotional impact of a pregnancy loss, you do not have to do it alone. Feel free to read more about parental counseling and contact me for more information about how I can provide support on your journey to healing.