An estimated 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, defined as the loss of pregnancy prior to 20 weeks. Whether expected or unexpected the loss of pregnancy can be an absolutely devastating experience for a woman. Though everyone reacts differently, there is often a deep wondering of what could have caused such a thing to happen. Was it something I did? Will I be able to get pregnant again and carry a baby until full term? Fear, anxiety and deep sadness coupled with hormonal mood swings can leave you feeling low. It is most important to surround yourself with a good support group who can help you to get through this difficult time.
In a culture that doesn’t have the reverence for the experience of loss that other cultures do, it is important to allow yourself to process the many emotions you may be experiencing. In Tears of Blood: Understanding and Creatively Intervening in the Grief of Miscarriage, the authors explain the experience of miscarriage as “a meaningful loss worth of acknowledgment and support, yet many woman do not perceive their miscarriage loss experience as validated and acknowledged.”* For many of these women the process of sharing their story of loss with a loved one or a healthcare practitioner can open the path to healing.
Mayan Abdominal Massage can be helpful for accessing the emotions and trauma stored in belly after a miscarriage. This form of massage also helps to restore hormonal balance and gently prepare the reproductive organs for a healthy pregnancy.
Minerals from seaweeds flood the body with healthy minerals and nourish the deepest reserves of the body impacted by miscarriage. Adding cut up seaweeds like kombu and wakame to foods slowly simmered in water (soups, stews and grains) is a great way to get the benefits without impacting your taste buds.
Foot soaks and relaxing baths help to ground and gently detoxify the body. Taking time to interiorize and relax deeply is important for replenishing your vital energy. Simply add a cup of sea salts of epsom salts to warm water, light a candle and drop into your home spa experience.
Working with a counsellor can allow you to express feelings that may feel uncomfortable to release in your daily life. A good therapist can be objective and guide you through the experience of grief. If you find yourself struggling to release painful memories consider an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) session that works with memory patterns to release the trauma stored in your body.
Creative outlets couple with downtime are helpful ways to let the mind wander and release tension. Spend time sourcing pleasurable moments to doodle, draw or simply be inspired by the nature that surrounds you. It is a fallacy that we need to immediately dive back into the rat race. Be sure to take the time you need.
The good news is that most women will go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Even in the case of recurrent miscarriage, technology has made advances that allow women previously deemed infertile the ability to conceive. With the guidance of your doctors, allow yourself the time to grieve your loss and heal your body in preparation for a healthy pregnancy.
*Douglas, K.I., & Fox, J.R. (2009). Tears of Blood: Understanding and Creatively Intervening in the Grief of Miscarriage. In G.R. WAlz, J.C.Bleuer, & R. K. Yeps (Eds.), Compelling counselling interventions: VISTAS 2009 (p.91) Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Kathryn Flynn is the author of Cooking for Fertility: Foods to Nourish Your Fertile Soul. Kathryn supports men and women worldwide in achieving a healthy pregnancy through nutrition and lifestyle changes in her individual fertility nutrition consultations. For additional information, please feel free to email Kathryn.