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Miscarriage Q&A: Healing after loss

The loss experienced after a miscarriage can be overwhelming. Like any bereavement, it can take some time to deal with.

Here are some answers to your questions...

Q. I have miscarried twice in the past six months and feel like such a failure that I can’t even do a simple thing like carry a baby. I can’t seem to get past it.

A. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing just one baby is incredibly devastating, let alone going through it all a second time. It is very normal to feel a deep sense of loss or even failure even when you know logically there is nothing you could have done to prevent the miscarriages.

Research has shown that the depth of grief felt at miscarrying a baby can be as deep and profound as actually losing a child so right now you need to be very gentle with yourself and allow yourself appropriate time and space to grieve. This means that some days you might feel fine and others you just feel emotionally knocked off your feet.

Please bear in mind that the grieving process may take a lot longer than you initially thought and it tends to come in waves. One minute you are absolutely fine and the next you are in floods of tears.

A good idea would be to get emotional support. This may be from a miscarriage support group in your area, an on-line forum of women who have been through the same experience or seeing a therapist who deals specifically in these types of issues.

My experience as a therapist has shown that multiple miscarriages can bring up some very deep seated emotional issues around femininity and sexuality, your relationship, your trust in your body and issues of self worth. The right support can help you not only clear these emotions but also allow you to move forward feeling stronger with a much deeper understanding of yourself.

Q. My husband is doing anything he can to avoid thinking about my recent miscarriage and we're starting to bicker, which is making things worse. How can we start to communicate again?

A. The first thing to understand is that men often deal with these sorts of situations very differently. They find it much more difficult to express their feelings verbally but this does not mean that they are not feeling very strong emotions. Often when we don’t know how to deal with something, it can be much easier to withdraw into ourselves and this can leave you both feeling vulnerable, sad and unsupported.

I suggest in a quiet moment together you tell him the truth of how you are feeling and that you know he can’t fix it but you really need him to listen. This can give him a very practical way to support you and also give you an opening to discuss how he is feeling and find out if there is a way you can support him.

Many couples really benefit from taking time to have a ceremony to remember and mark what has happened. This can give you both something to focus on that acknowledges your loss and can give you the closure you need before you can move on.

Q. Can I prevent a miscarriage?