For couples trying to have a child, an unexpected miscarriage can be devastating. This is a difficult time, and a Raleigh psychiatrist has some tips on what to say or do in the event that this happens to someone that you know. Grief counseling following an unexpected miscarriage can help women and/or couples move on from the pain to a brighter tomorrow.
Recent Statistics About Miscarriages Here in the United States
Miscarriage has long been a taboo subject, and therefore it is no surprise to learn that many women keep this a secret to all but her closest of friends or family members. Some scientists have recently estimated that humans miscarry approximately 50% of their pregnancies. This usually occurs very early in the pregnancy cycle, and many women may never even know that they were pregnant at all.
Are Miscarriages Becoming More Prevalent In Our Society?
Some people believe that the average miscarriage rate in this country has gone up over the past decade or so. This may or may not be true due to a number of factors that need to be considered.
- Increased age of mother may account for more miscarriages
- More women are reporting their miscarriages than previous generations of women
- We live in a fast-paced & stressful environment
- Many women work strenuous jobs even when pregnant
- Preoccupation with weight gain & poorer diets may contribute to increase in miscarriages
- More couples go through IVF & other reproductive procedures
- More toxins in environment
So, it is difficult to pinpoint whether or not the miscarriage rate is on the rise. In the past, women married younger and had their children at a younger age when their bodies are in their prime for reproduction.
Many scientists caution that exposure to today’s harsh and more prevalent chemicals and toxins may harm a developing fetus sooner. The rising age of prospective parents is yet another factor that may account for more miscarriages of otherwise healthy pregnancies.
Women May Grieve Their Loss for a Lifetime
Whatever the cause, many women will go into a grief state. Since this subject is an uncomfortable one for many, the majority of women keep their miscarriage to themselves. This doesn’t give them an outlet to grieve as they should. Some women report that their loss truly impacted them for a lifetime.
What to Say to a Woman Who Recently Lost a Pregnancy?
It is important to show your support. Just acknowledging the loss is usually sufficient. Offer to help with meals, taking care of other kids if she has them or just a simple card can all be appropriate. Later, just being a good listener can help her talk about her loss and grieve. This can be a comfort during such a sad time.
When to Seek Professional Grief Counseling or Other Therapy
Women who miscarry will go through hormonal changes just as if she delivered a healthy baby. This can cause her to experience deep feelings of loss, or she could be in a state of shock at first. How far along the woman was in her pregnancy is also a factor in how the woman deals with the loss.
Women who miscarry later or suffer a stillborn birth often develop serious depression or unresolved grief that may be helped by undergoing professional grief therapy with a trained mental health counselor. If the woman shows signs of deep depression or appears suicidal, get help from her doctor or the nearest medical hospital or mental health crisis line.
Consider Joining a Grief Support Group
Many communities have grief support groups that can help individuals and couples get through this challenging time. Ask your local hospital if there is any such program in your area. It can help immensely if the woman is able to properly grieve her loss and say goodbye in a more traditional manner.
Some hospitals offer to hold a memorial service that parents who lost their child through miscarriage or a stillborn birth can participate in. Doing something that is tangible can make the path forward a bit easier to bear.
There Is Hope After a Miscarriage
The good news is that most women who miscarry go on to become pregnant again. Of course, the woman will want to rule out physical causes with her obstetrician or fertility doctor. Having a safe place to really talk about feelings and fears for the future can be a welcome relief. It is common for women to feel overwhelmed with her emotions, and talking to someone can begin the healing process.
Learn more about an unexpected miscarriage and the grief process by contacting MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh, NC, by phone or online at https://www.medpsychnc.com anytime.