Miscarriage Aftercare: How to Take Care of Your Mind, Body, Spirit, and Your Family


There is no question that suffering a miscarriage is devastating, heartbreaking, and all-consuming.

Depending on how far along the pregnancy was, the physical recovery itself can be complicated. However, the emotional effects of such a loss can be overwhelming and can leave us searching for a way back to ourselves. Whether you are an experienced Mom or one hoping to become a Mother for the first time, going through a miscarriage is painful and in the midst of such a hard experience, we can forget the importance of taking care of ourselves.

Having recently suffered the loss of our son at 20 weeks, I found it necessary to be purposeful in focusing on my healing. Miscarriage aftercare wasn’t something I had thought about previously. I wanted to share what has worked for me.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way about miscarriage aftercare.

  1. Delete all your pregnancy apps– I’ve learned that having emails and reminders pop up saying how far along you should be and how your baby is developing is a stark and cruel reminder of what you’ve lost. In fact, I suggest doing this immediately. While in the hospital waiting to deliver my deceased son, I had a pregnancy reminder pop up and I lost what little emotional control I had. It may not seem like much, but not having to see those reminders will be helpful while going through a pregnancy loss.
  2. Remove yourself from your online due date groups– It’s really hard to watch other women who are currently pregnant have happy healthy pregnancies after you’ve lost your own. If you’ve developed relationships with any of the women you were in the group with, feel free to remain friends with them and wish them well. Being a part of the due date group and seeing other women post bump pictures, ask pregnancy questions, and decorate their nurseries on a daily basis is going to be difficult. While you can’t avoid that completely, it’s helpful to remove yourself from the potential for overexposure that could trigger your sadness.   Cup of coffee
  3. Take the time you need to physically rest your body– whether that means sleeping a day away or laying on the couch curled in a blanket and watching movies, keep your body still. Your doctor should give you some direction as to how to proceed with resting and physical activity depending on how far along you were. If you think about it, your body is just as confused as you are. It is producing hormones and directing vitamins, minerals, and even blood to the babe that is no longer there to benefit and it will need time to redirect and right itself. Regardless, make sure you take the time you need and give your body grace.
  4. Talk about your baby– Friends and family are great places to start, but you don’t have to stop there. I’m sincerely thankful I had my husband to talk to and that he allowed me to express everything I was feeling. And in turn, I hope he felt welcome to express what he was feeling with me as I know this was extremely hard for him as well. I had friends and family members who had also been through a miscarriage and who allowed me to ask questions and talk about my experience. My husband and I reached out to our Care Ministry’s Pastor and he sat with us while we discussed the experience and validated our feelings. He prayed for us, our lost son and our family, which provided a great deal of comfort. My OBGYN’s office also provided contact information for a grief counselor that we are welcome to contact as well as support groups for pregnancy loss. It’s important to let your feelings out and not bottle them inside. If talking to someone makes you uncomfortable, start a journal to write down all of your thoughts and feelings about your experience. It could be helpful in the grieving process.Books about miscarriage aftercare.
  5. Focus on your mood– Participating in uplifting activities and focusing on enhancing your mood will help you actively take care of yourself. For me, I figured out that yoga, worship music, essential oils, reading a pregnancy loss devotional and being diligent about taking my depression medication provided me the best opportunity to keep my spirits lifted and positive. It was important to me to maintain some control over my emotions, so going through my day and being purposeful about focusing on activities I could participate in to keep myself grounded and optimistic was key. Once I’m able to be more active, I plan on getting back to exercising which I know helps my mood as well. Find something that makes you happy and make it a part of your day. It could be painting, running, meditation, gardening, sewing, hiking or anything else that brings you joy. Finding joy is important and necessary for healing.   
  6. Do your best to let go of your guilt– When going through the loss of a pregnancy, there are many situations that can cause a woman to feel guilt. The most obvious feeling is responsibility for the loss itself; like we may have done something to cause harm to our child because it was our job to protect them and we failed. That is absolutely not true and completely unfounded; please don’t do that to yourself. Guilt may extend to having to tell others that we’ve lost the pregnancy. There is a sense of shame associated with having to say that you were unable to bring the pregnancy to term regardless of the cause of the termination. When others asked me how I was and how the pregnancy was going, having to say that I lost the baby made me feel embarrassed and ashamed even after learning that there wasn’t anything we could have done. Having those feelings of guilt about the loss was unnecessary and only prevented me from moving forward. I took a moment to give myself a pep talk of sorts to remind myself that I did not cause this, it was not for me to assign blame to myself and I wasn’t helping myself by doing so. I also had guilt because of my reaction to other pregnant women or those with newborn babies. I didn’t want to look at them and I even felt resentful of their successful pregnancies. Three weeks after my loss I went to a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting and while in a small group, I had a pregnant woman sitting on one side of me and a new mom on the other. It took all of my strength to not break down crying and leave the room. There is guilt associated with reacting that way to other women, because who knows what they may have gone through to get where they are now. In fact, I spoke with the new mom next to me and it turned out she suffered a loss prior to having her son. We can’t help how we react to seeing others who have what we hoped to have for ourselves, but we don’t have to punish ourselves for feeling that way. Let yourself breathe, acknowledge the way you’re feeling and move on. This is an essential step in miscarriage aftercare, for sure. Child reading book about miscarriage.
  7. Care for your Family– Grief can affect people in different ways. My husband and I grieve differently. I’m someone who needs to be able to talk things through, to get out everything I’m feeling inside; I cry, I listen to music and I sleep. My husband keeps a lot of what he’s feeling inside but seems to find comfort in spending time with me and can usually be prompted into a conversation. After our miscarriage, we were intentional about taking time to have a date night together. We found overnight care for our children and spent the evening communicating our feelings to each other and mourning our lost child. It is important to understand that children grieve differently than adults as their little hearts will struggle to process this type of loss. We noticed this in our 7-year-old daughter. She became very upset and fearful when her unborn brother was gone and we received word from school that she was very weepy. We notified her teacher of the loss and together we set up for her to start meeting with her school’s guidance counselor so she had a safe space to express what she was feeling without trying to shield me from her pain. At home, we got two books to help explain to the kids what had happened: We Were Going to Have a Baby but We Had an Angel Instead by Pat Schwiebert and Something Happened by Cathy Blanford. These stories helped our daughter to ask questions and connect the dots with what happened with us. I’m thankful there are tools such as these out there to help children understand this kind of loss.  
  8. Remember your baby– There is some uncertainty with how to proceed after losing a pregnancy. Miscarriage is something that isn’t often talked about. I carried, birthed and loved a child that no one but my husband and I physically knew and held. This beautiful baby was so real for us and our family. We had been planning for his arrival and were so excited for him to join us. Our baby was very real and tangible to us, but to the outside world, he wasn’t much more than a positive pregnancy test. Since the loss, I’ve been asked how many children I have and I don’t know how to answer the question anymore; do I have 2 or 3 children? We will remember him daily in our home. Our children were looking forward to gaining a sibling and now have to process the loss with us. When my 7-year-old daughter has questions about her brother, we will answer them and talk about him. When talking about being pregnant, I will refer to all three times I was pregnant. When praying for my children, I will pray for all three of them. We have decided to celebrate his birthday and give a Christmas gift to each of our children from their brother. We have made a space for him in our home where we will remember him and I make a point of thinking about him every day. Our son was a beautiful piece of our family puzzle and we love him. Do what you need to, to keep your child present in your life. If you need some ideas on how to do this for your family, look for my upcoming post on how to keep your child’s memory alive.

While I am no expert in how to process and heal from losing a pregnancy (and I hope no one out there is an expert in dealing with this), these miscarriage aftercare tips have helped me progress through my grief, focus on remaining optimistic and joy-filled and have made healing a little easier.  I would love to hear what has helped others who have been through this experience, too.

And let me say, to those of you who have gone through or are going through a miscarriage, my heart breaks for you; you are not alone.

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Betsey is a native Vermonter who grew up in Williston but now resides in Essex Jct. with her Husband, Jeremy, her 7-year-old Daughter, Rachel, and 2-year-old son, Jaxon. She has an undergraduate degree from Champlain College in Criminal Justice, but quickly realized she had a heart for nursing. She went on to earn her LPN and most recently her RN, both from Vermont Technical College. Betsey was honored to represent Vermont as Mrs. Vermont International 2013 where she advocated for Breast Cancer Awareness. She continues to be proactive about cancer awareness as a committee member for Cocktails Curing Cancer, a fabulous local non-profit fundraising event. While her days are mostly spent chasing after her spunky toddler and playing dolls with her daughter, She still finds time to do the things she enjoys: reading, searching for and putting together the perfect outfit, her slight obsession with Disney, and singing on worship team at her church to praise God for all the grace and blessings he’s given her!


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