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Suffering in silence: the impact of a miscarriage

Health • by Paul De Beyer • 31 March 2022

There’s probably no worse feeling than losing a child. Whether that child is still in the womb or fully grown, the pain and trauma associated with losing someone you loved so dearly is truly heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, and unfairly, miscarriages are often regarded as a lesser loss, leaving the parents to grieve without the same support structures one might get if a loss had occurred post-birth.

Miscarriages, even today, continue to be a taboo subject, leaving those suffering to suffer alone. 

Ultimately, miscarriages leave scars, both physically, mentally, and socially, and these scars can take years to heal.

The physical impact

For the mother, a miscarriage can be extremely physically traumatic. The body can take weeks or even months to heal properly and fully recover.

Initially, most women will experience some vaginal bleeding, but this can depend on how many weeks pregnant they were when the miscarriage occurs.

Cramping after the miscarriage is to be expected, as the body contracts to expel any remaining pregnancy tissue. These cramps can feel like strong period pains, while minor cramps can continue for a few days after.

If your miscarriage requires no surgery, you could also experience:

If you require some surgical intervention, you could experience:

It can take up to eight weeks for your first period to occur, while your usual cycle might take three to six months to settle into a normal pattern.

Women who experience a miscarriage will still ovulate during this period, and it’s recommended to use contraception if you don’t want to become pregnant again.

The emotional impact

There’s no explaining the pain felt when losing a child, especially one from miscarriage. You’ll not only have the emotions of loss to contend with, but the fact that you’ll still be experiencing pregnancy hormones.

The loss of a child is compounded by these hormones, which can take up to three weeks to subside. They can leave you:

During this time both parents, but especially the mother, need to be cared for. Kindness and understanding are needed by those around the parents as they deal with the loss.

The social impact

One of the aspects seldom spoken about is the social impact a miscarriage can have. 

Pregnancies these days are very public affairs, with gender reveals, social media posts, and pregnancy apps helping friends and family members experience each step of the pregnancy journey along with the parents.

A miscarriage can create a difficult social situation for the grieving parents and can lead to social withdrawal.

Friends and family members need to remember to be kind, careful, and, above all, understanding of those directly dealing with the loss of a child. 

When the time is right, give them the chance to engage with you about the loss and be understanding in how they choose to grieve. It might be hard to talk about a miscarriage but if that’s what the grieving parents need, then they should be given the space to do so with those who love them.

We’re here to help!

If you’re struggling with loss or any traumatic event, any member can contact the GetSavvi Health Member Wellness Programme’s 24/7 trauma counselling line.

If you’d also like to discuss any of your benefits to find out what you’re covered for, simply call 0861 18 92 02 to speak to GetSavvi Health consultant who’ll be happy to assist. 


References:
What happens to my body during a miscarriage?
It's Time to Normalize What Happens to the Body After a Miscarriage
What Happens to Your Body After A Miscarriage and How to Heal
Miscarriage

Your health after a miscarriage
What really happens during a miscarriage
What happens: Miscarriage
What Happens After a Miscarriage?

 

 

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