March is Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month
Pregnancy loss can bring much grief and affects the women experiencing the loss, as well as having a profound effect on her partner, family and close friends.
According to the Mayo Clinic: “Miscarriage is usually a one-time occurrence. Most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies after miscarriage. A small number of women — 1 percent — will have repeated miscarriages. The predicted risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy remains about 20 percent after one miscarriage. After two consecutive miscarriages the risk of another miscarriage increases to about 28 percent, and after three or more consecutive miscarriages the risk of another miscarriage is about 43 percent.”
If there is not enough time to heal from these occurrences, it can bring a mix of emotions when pregnancy occurs soon after the loss. So, what are some of the hurdles these women must overcome and what can be done to counter these emotions?
Simple things like a pregnancy test, going for routine prenatal care, due dates and baby showers, all can now be triggering and lead her into a spiral of anxiety. What happens in the heart and mind of the woman who has previously experienced a pregnancy where something has gone terribly wrong, and she now sees a positive result on that pregnancy test strip? Having an ultrasound, that used to be an exciting and happy time, now can bring on a sense of dread.
According to Emma Robertson Blackmore, PhD. A University of Rochester Medical Center psychiatry professor, “In addition, even after having a healthy child, women who miscarry have a higher risk of postpartum depression, In a paper published in 2011 in the British Journal of Psychiatry, she followed more than 13,000 women for three years post-birth. Of the 2,823 who had miscarriages, about 15 percent experienced clinically significant depression and/or anxiety during and after pregnancies for up to three years.”
If you or someone you love has experienced this type of loss and is finding the journey challenging, please contact us. We understand and can help.
I will include some additional resources below as well:
Pregnancy After Loss Support 24-Hr Helpline: call or text 1.800.944.4773 or visit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Rainbow Train: Connection and Hope during Pregnancy After Loss
Postpartum Support International 1.800.944.4773 or visit Loss & Grief in Pregnancy & Postpartum | Postpartum Support International (PSI) for many more resources under this umbrella.