The Emotional Impact
When a woman suffers a miscarriage, she and her partner may have a range of emotional reactions.
Just as every person is unique, every person's response to pregnancy loss is also unique to that person and her way of coping. It is important to note that there is no "right" way to feel. Some women have feelings that include disbelief, anger, guilt, and sadness. Others may feel tired or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. Frequent crying, irritability, changes in appetite, or loss of interest in one's normal activities may also be experienced. Women may have questions or concerns that something they did cause the miscarriage. Many are surprised at how intense their feelings are, even when the pregnancy is lost at an early stage.
All of these feelings and thoughts are normal responses to grief and loss and to events happening beyond one's control. Hormone levels that change after a miscarriage can also make the feelings more intense. For some, the emotional recovery may take longer than the physical recovery. As noted above, partners may have varying reactions as well. They are not the ones who were carrying the pregnancy, experiencing the hormonal and bodily changes, and so, may feel less upset than their mate.
Some people have all the reactions described above and some have few or none of these. Individuals grieve differently and may have different feelings and needs during this time. It is important that each person affected by the pregnancy loss be allowed to cope in her/his own way.
We want you and your partner to know that BIDMC has social workers with expertise in helping women and couples cope during and after a miscarriage. They offer information and support around the grieving process, supportive counseling, and guidance around some of the concrete issues, such as help finding a funeral home if you and your partner want tot take responsibility for the remains. They can also provide information and referral to local community mental health/grief resources. Please call the Social Work Department at 617-667-3421 and ask to speak with an OB social worker. Or talk to your obstetrician who can facilitate a referral.
For referral to a religious counselor please call Pastoral Care at 617-667-3030.