Surviving pregnancy loss can be challenging, both mentally and physically. It will take some time for your mind and body to recover fully.
Your physical recovery will depend on how far along you were in the pregnancy when you miscarried. It can take from a few weeks to a couple of months for you to recover physically from a miscarriage. But you will also need to heal emotionally.
You can take your time to mourn, slowly get out of it, and plan a family again. Getting pregnant again is possible. Find out how you can recover, both physically and emotionally after a miscarriage, and when can you plan for a baby again.
10 Ways To Heal After A Miscarriage, Both Physically And Emotionally
Even though your body housed the baby and will need recovery after a miscarriage, your mind will also need to heal. While your body housed the baby, your mind stretched to accommodate the presence of your little one. This is one reason why losing a pregnancy hurts. So we’ve divided our recovery tips into two groups; one for the body and the other for the mind.
Five Ways To Heal Your Body After A Miscarriage
- Get lots of rest. Especially for the first 24 to 48 hours after the miscarriage. Your body needs it. But as hard as it is, rest is crucial for healing. You might not feel like you need to take it easy but rest anyway. Drink a lot of water, and some red raspberry tea if you can.
- Take your temperature in the evening for the next 5 days. Miscarriages often come with a fever, and you want to be prepared to manage it if you do come down with a fever.
- You might have bleeding like a menstrual period for a few days. Then you could have spotting on and off for up to 4 weeks. You might have mild cramping for some days. Use pads for the bleeding and not tampons. You want to avoid the risk of an infection. Change them at least every 5 hours. Load up on iron. You have lost blood, and a great way to replenish is to eat iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, and fish, milk, eggs, legumes, pulses, cereals, fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t have intercourse until the bleeding has stopped. (It’s a good idea to use birth control for the first month even if you do want to get pregnant again soon.) Don’t douche.
- Massage your lower abdomen. You could either do it yourself or have your partner or someone else do it for you. Firmly massaging your uterus will help it contract, expelling any remaining tissue and helping your uterus return to its normal shape. Massaging key pressure points on your hands and feet will also help with contracting if you are struggling to release all the miscarried tissue. Gently massage your ankles and hand. When you get to a point that hurts, dig in and rub!
Call your doctor if you have:
- A temperature above 100° F.
- Heavy bleeding (more than the heaviest day of a normal period).
- Cramping after the first 2 or 3 days.
- Any severe pain.
Five Ways To Heal Your Mind After A Miscarriage
- Allow yourself to grieve. Grieving is an inevitable and very important part of your recovery journey. It is very important for your emotional health. Allow yourself to go through all the stages of grief, from anger to acceptance to forgiveness.
- Speak to someone. Don’t bottle up your grief; talk to your close ones. Say what you feel to people who are close to you, like your friend, family, or a professional. Remember to talk to your partner. He, too, has lost his child. Talking about it will help both of you heal and move on.
- Don’t blame yourself. A miscarriage is due to a medical abnormality and it is not your fault. You must accept that it happened because of some medical problem. And be ready to move on and plan a family in the future.
- Don’t Stress: After a miscarriage, your hormones won’t be stable and will take some time to get to normal. Your fluctuating hormones will make you irritable and moody. So try to distract yourself. Moving your body releases endorphins and can help you overcome stress. So once you are physically up for it, start exercising. You can start small like go for walks or do yoga.
- Take your mental health medicines: In extreme cases of depression, your doctor can suggest treatment such as anti-depressants and psychotherapy. However, you should make an effort to come out of depression for emotional healing after a miscarriage.
It can take from a few days to several months for your body to heal completely after a miscarriage. Vaginal bleeding can last a week and lower abdominal pain for up to two days.
Mental healing will depend on the emotional bond shared by the mother with the foetus. It is important to give yourself time.
Mourning is normal. Gradually you will start to accept your loss and feel better with time. No doubt, pregnancy loss is hard to accept, but you should remember that it does not ruin your life.
You can always try for another baby. The time to plan for another baby will primarily depend on your recovery.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com