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Because miscarriage typically occurs within the first 3 months of pregnancy, sometimes the woman doesn’t even know she was pregnant. It can still be difficult to know that a child was lost, even if the parents weren’t knowledgeable about it. Late-term miscarriage is not as common. Only 2-5% of pregnancies end in miscarriage after 20 weeks. Though it is rare, a late-term miscarriage can be devastating to parents looking forward to the birth of their child. How can a couple manage the loss of an early or late-term miscarriage? Here are some tips:
· Talk to Someone
Don’t hide your feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, or even guilt. Having a range of emotions is completely normal. Talk to a counselor, friend, or loved one about the emotions you are going through. Don’t try to “act ok” or downplay the sadness you feel. Be honest and vent your feelings.
· Join an Online Support Group
Sometimes it can be easier to talk to a group of people online who have been through a similar experience. It is less personal and therefore easier to communicate your feelings openly. There are plenty of groups on Facebook or other social media platforms that are anonymous. Just do your research before joining any group to make sure it is legitimate.
· Plant Flowers or Perform a Burial Service
For some parents, it is helpful to perform a burial service or plant a flower garden in remembrance of your loss. This can help to find closure and create a special way to remember the baby. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just do whatever feels appropriate and meaningful to you.
· Start a Journal
Journaling about your feelings can be tremendously therapeutic. At times, it can seem as though the emotions and thoughts are pouring in and taking over. You may almost feel as though you are overwhelmed and panicky. It can help to write these feelings down in a journal. This is a private way to organize your thoughts and vent your emotions. Feel free to burn the papers afterward if you find it necessary.
· Don’t Stress About Telling Everyone
It depends on how late you were in the pregnancy, but don’t feel the need to announce your miscarriage to everyone unless you want to. Some people find it very difficult to make an announcement, and the sympathies that are returned can be difficult to handle. You can choose how you want to tell others about the miscarriage. Talk to loved ones and ask them how to approach it if you need some advice.
· Expect Insensitive Reactions
Many people don’t know how to handle your loss. They feel sympathy but aren’t sure quite what to say or how to act. Some of their words may come out awkward, or they may say some insensitive things like “It was God’s plan,” or “You’ll have another one soon enough.” Remember that they are not trying to hurt you, they are only trying to make you feel better in the best way they know-how. Avoid people who you know might say insensitive things until you feel better equipped to handle it.
Are you struggling with the loss of a miscarriage? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.