How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

Relationship Help

Are You Coping With the Pain of Miscarriage? You’re Not Alone…

It was a bright and sunny April day six years ago when I went back to the Doctor’s office for an ultrasound. I had a normal first pregnancy and had already seen this baby just a few weeks before. Everything was progressing normally and I had no reason to assume any different.

We all have those defining moments that change the course of our lives. We can look back and see the tell-tale signs and feel compassion for ourselves right before the life-changing event. That day, when I was told the baby’s heartbeat was gone, was one of those for me.

Dealing With Miscarriage

You won’t know how to think, feel, or respond until you are living the experience. For many women shock and disbelief will be the first feelings after the news of a miscarriage. How can the baby be gone if I still feel pregnant? Next, can come the desire to numb or feel nothing. Distraction becomes our friend or long stares off into the distance become the norm.

I didn’t know many women at the time of my miscarriage that had endured the same loss. It was something no one ever shared. The days following people would say awkward and sometimes even dismissive things to me. I felt something was wrong with me or that it wasn’t ok to share what I had been through. My husband didn’t know how to comfort me and seemed strangely distant from the whole experience.

Emotional Support After Pregnancy Loss

Are you experiencing the same feelings of isolation, shame, and loss after a miscarriage? Many people experience feelings of sadness and depression after miscarriage. Here are some beliefs and practices I used to support myself in the grieving process after my pregnancy loss, and which I now routinely employ as a pregnancy loss counselor:

  1. Don’t Blame Yourself: You did nothing wrong. You may be thinking to yourself, “well I was really stressed out” or “I could have taken care of myself better”. You’re trying to make sense of it, and blaming yourself may be the only way you can find closure in the process. As Doctors like to remind us, a miscarriage is the way your body terminates a pregnancy where there may have been significant birth defects. In man,y cases we may never know why a miscarriage happened, but that doesn’t change a woman’s desire to find a reason.
  2. Share Your Story: Even though I didn’t know many women who had experienced a miscarriage I still kept sharing my story. Some people were dismissive or callous. Others were supportive and were able to share their stories. I was able to form bonds with other women and couples which brought with it much needed support.
  3. Seek Support After Pregnancy Loss: The best thing you can do for yourself is build a strong support system as the grieving and physical healing of miscarriage take time. A pregnancy loss grief support group, pregnancy loss counselor or coach, or support group for pregnancy loss are the best options.
  4. Develop a Self-Care Strategy: Pick a few activities that you can practice when strong feelings begin to pop up. This could be music, movies, journaling, exercising, or any other variety of enjoyable activities.

Each woman and couple will process a pregnancy loss differently. Talk with your Doctor if after a few months you’re still experiencing intense grief emotions or feelings of depression after miscarriage. Individual and couples counseling after pregnancy loss can be extremely helpful for support, education, and emotional processing for both you individually, as well as for your relationship.

There is no set amount of time it takes to start feeling normal again. However, the intensity of the emotional response should reduce as you practice some of these strategies and build a strong network of support around yourself.

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTA

The Art of Self Care

The Art of Self Care

Self Care Ideas: How to Take Care of You

Let’s check in with you: What is overwhelming you at this moment? Who or what is occupying all the space in your
head throughout the day? Is it one person or thing? Are there multiple people and things vying
for your attention? Do you ever feel that you’ll never be able to slow down and just enjoy life? Maybe a
relationship went south and you’re going through a breakup. You’re in a high-stress career with a job that is inundating you with to-do lists. Perhaps your child may have special needs. The list can go on and on. You may feel more like a human-doing instead of a human being.

Many of us feel like our value and worth comes from the titles we hold, relationships we have, and the events on our calendars. Our seasons of life are measured by these things and let’s face it, some seasons are better than others. You may be in one of those “off seasons” right now.

When we feel overwhelmed, disconnection from the people and things we love often follows.
This is where self-care comes into play. Have you ever thought about what the word self-care
means to you? My definition of self-care is the discipline of actions that help me stay true to
myself. Now, your definition may be different from mine but take a moment to think about what
it means to you. When working with therapy and life coaching clients dealing with challenging situations I find that the
vast majority of them are greatly lacking in self-care. They can’t identify the things they love to
do and their relationships are not in the healthiest of places.

So how do you fit self-care into your life again? Here are some simple self-care ideas:

1. Think about the things you used to love to do (i.e. write, read, exercise, hang-out with
friends). Write them down.

2. Identify some new activities, things, or places you’ve always wanted to try or visit. Write those
down.

3. Master the 5 minutes. This is my tool for helping clients get on a routine schedule of self-
care. When choosing things you want to add to your life on a daily basis like reading, meditation, or exercise you start with a goal of 5 minutes per day. This may sound too simple but if you’re able to commit to 5 minutes you’re more likely to complete it than say
setting aside an hour every day. If you do more than 5 minutes, great! If not, at least you’re
getting in the habit. When you’ve consistently hit your 5-minute habit for one week progress
to 10 minutes. Slowly adding 5 minutes every week until you’ve hit a goal time (i.e. 1 hour
of exercise a day). Choose from the activities you listed in Step 1.

4. Research the class availability or schedule that relates to the activities you listed from Step 2.

5. Add one event/class/place from your list from Step 2 on your calendar for this month.

6. Make it fun! If you want to exercise but you hate the Stair Stepper, sign up for a dance
class. If you want to read more, choose a genre that you enjoy.

7. Get support and accountability! As we all know, it’s harder to keep commitments to yourself than it is to others. Enlisting the support of an accountability partner can help you follow through.

These are just a few self care ideas to get started on your journey. As you get in the discipline
of practicing the steps you’ve chosen you’ll find you may want to take on more. If you find it difficult to follow through, consider enlisting the support of a great mentor or life coach to help keep you on track, keep you creative, and keep you aware of sticking points or unrealistic
expectations that may limit you.

Blessings!

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTA

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