Managing the Emotional Impact of Pregnancy Loss: How Can You Cope?
The moment you find out you are pregnant, your life changes. No matter how early it is into your pregnancy, your child is real and it is completely normal to develop an emotional attachment right away.
Pregnancy is often a time of excitement and joy. And as an expectant mother, you undoubtedly are willing to do whatever is best for your unborn child. But no matter how many things you do perfectly, pregnancy loss can still occur.
Regardless of at what stage of your pregnancy you experience loss, it is an extremely painful and devastating experience. Unfortunately, it can also feel like one you have to go through alone, as grief is often disenfranchised. There are usually no funerals or ceremonies for miscarriages, especially when it happens in the early stages of pregnancy. But, of course, that does not mean your grief isn’t real. People including other women do not often talk about their pregnancy loss.
So, how can you cope with the emotional impact of pregnancy loss? How can you manage your feelings in a healthy way?
Acknowledge and Honor Your Emotions
You might feel as though you have to “push down” whatever emotions you’re feeling right now. That simply is not true.
It is extremely common to feel a whirlwind of emotions after a miscarriage at any stage, including:
The range of emotions is wide. It’s crucial that you do not put pressure on yourself to feel (or not feel) a certain way. By acknowledging the things, you feel and by honoring them for what they are, you will be able to move through the grieving process in a more effective way.
There is also no timeline when it comes to these emotions. Everyone grieves differently and for different lengths. Just because you have been feeling sad or lonely for a few weeks does not mean it is time to move on. Again, honor your emotions by allowing yourself to work through them completely and at your pace.
Accept the Grieving Process
Chances are, you have heard of the various stages of grief before. Let yourself experience those stages without feeling as though you need to jump around or fall into a specific pattern. Everything from anger to acceptance is normal. And instead of trying to just “get through” the grieving process, you will need to learn what to expect from it.
That is why understanding and accepting your emotions is so important because they can lead to actual physical changes and reactions, including:
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep issues
- Loss of appetite
While knowing how your emotions can impact your behaviors is a key factor in getting through the grieving process, do not make the mistake of trying to go through it alone. Finding the right support is a vital component of grieving and healing.
Find the Support You Need
You might feel as though no one can fully understand what you are going through after a pregnancy loss. While, in a sense, that may be true, it does not mean that people in your life are not willing to listen as support you in the best ways they know how.
One of the best things you can do is to lean on your partner for support. They may not have been carrying the child, but they are the other person who is closest to the situation. Sharing your grief can be an important part of the healing process.
But if you are still struggling to cope with the loss of a pregnancy, despite support from your partner or family and friends, seeking professional help is a step you should seriously consider. A compassionate therapist or counselor can help you through the process of accepting the emotions you are feeling. Healing is possible, even if it does not feel like that right now.
Losing a child at any stage of pregnancy is devastating, but you do not have to be in this state of grief forever. And you do not have to deal with this alone. If you would like to find out how I can help you, please feel free to contact me. Together, we can find ways to help you move forward in a healthy and effective way.