Coping with Depression after a Miscarriage

Whether this was your first pregnancy or you already have children, and no matter what stage you experienced your loss, a miscarriage brings with it a range of difficult feelings, which only someone who has been through this loss can fully appreciate. Not only have you lost your unborn child, but you may feel a number of other losses – losing trust in your body, feeling a loss of control and reduced self-confidence, to name but a few.

Difficulties in the grieving process

Coming to terms with a miscarriage is difficult enough, but when faced every day with images of healthy babies and pregnancies, serving as a reminder that this could have been you, it’s much harder. Even if you avoid the stores selling baby items and you leave the baby-related reading to one side, your acquaintances and even those people you pass in the street may trigger these thoughts. This can feel very isolating, as it seems that everyone else is able to become a parent without the same problems you have faced; while you know that this isn’t the case and that miscarriage occurs in a quarter of pregnancies in New Zealand, this still isn’t much comfort at this time. The response from others who don’t understand your grief, and the very clinical response from medical staff, may further compound your feelings.

Coping with a depressed mood

It’s therefore no wonder that you may suffer from low mood. However, you are not alone, as research shows that depression is not uncommon following a miscarriage. Indications that you are suffering from more than simply grief include: struggling to function in your daily life, loss of motivation, difficulty sleeping, feeling helpless and finding that you have no enjoyment in life. Seeking help when you feel like this will not only protect your current well-being, but by addressing your feelings now, it may benefit your mood in future pregnancies. As grief following a miscarriage can sometimes last beyond the birth of another child, if you are suffering from depression, receiving help now may help you to manage your anxieties surrounding another pregnancy. It is natural to worry that you will experience a similar outcome on another occasion, but this may contribute to maternal depression. However, talking about your feelings can help significantly.

Uniqueness of Miscarriage Loss

As the grief associated with miscarriage is very unique, it helps to discuss your feelings with someone who has experienced a similar loss. A member of your family, a friend or colleague who has suffered a miscarriage, will provide invaluable support for you in the weeks and months following your bereavement. However, dedicated support groups, whether you meet in person or discussions are held online, can also help you to feel less isolated. These forms of support are just as important as any formal counselling or other treatments that may be arranged for you to return to everyday life as you learn to cope with your loss. Kindly written for us by Laura Chapman, UK.