The Complex Feelings After a Miscarriage
Managing feelings after a miscarriage is no simple matter. Mourning, the feeling of impotence, stress and loss of self-esteem are just a few of the feelings that a woman can experience when going through this situation.
A pregnancy goes far beyond biology and medical science. Little by little, a very special relationship is built around the future baby and mother. From the start, the relationship is full of expectations and dreams. The question then arises: how should you react after a miscarriage?
Gestational losses can be just as hard as the loss of a child. In our culture, there are no rites associated with this type of grief, therefore it’s difficult to deal with the emotions that arise. This subject seems to be taboo in today’s society.
These unpleasant situations often result in trauma for the women who experience it. In many cases, relatives don’t know the right way to approach or help a woman who is going through this difficult situation.
Miscarriage: a unique life has been lost
To suffer a miscarriage is to lose a unique being who you won’t be able to get back. This is the truth that people going through these types of situations experience.
When family and friends try to give advice, a positive discourse is often carried out that isn’t always in line with the woman’s feelings. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t solved by simply thinking to get pregnant again.
In fact, having a life inside our bodies marks the start of a unique relationship between mother and child. Before the baby is born, plans and expectations are already established. Pregnancy isn’t just a biological process or a medical interest.
The post-abortion syndrome is a concept in which the psychological scars that a gestational loss leaves are grouped. Psychologists understand that this is one of the most complex mental processes that a human being can go through.
There are two types of symptoms that are produced by this syndrome: psychological and somatic. The latter has to do with bodily manifestations of loss or depression such as vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain and headaches.
On a psychological level, the effects of post-abortion syndrome are more complex. The feelings range from guilt to hostility. Sadness, stress, insomnia, de-motivation, self-destructiveness and decreased libido are also common symptoms.
“When a woman has a miscarriage, the problem isn’t solved by simply trying to have another baby.“
Complexity of the feelings after a miscarriage
Part of the emotional troubles that surround miscarriages lies in the various stages that the individual experiences their suffering. These stages can be presented in a variety of ways without specific order. It can start with feelings of guilt that will later evolve into different emotions.
We have to keep in mind that the difficult feelings that arise after a miscarriage don’t only affect the mother. The father is also affected and he’ll experience mourning in his own way. It can also bring along serious emotional complications for him.
Difficulties in the relationship may arise as well. There is also a strong social component that surrounds this issue. Gestational loss affects the life of those who suffer from it. Most people don’t know how to appropriately help those who are suffering from it.
Complications of the post-miscarriage syndrome
- Not being able to define what it feels like: feelings after a miscarriage are in constant evolution, therefore it’s difficult to identify and address them.
- Seeing the fetus after the miscarriage: affected parents don’t know whether or not to see the baby when the child has already passed away.
- Talking about the incident: the couple must decide if they want to talk about their loss. Sometimes there might be disagreements on how to address the issue.
- Lack of understanding: there are certain phrases that come from friends and family that deny parents of the right to feel certain feelings. For example, “You’re young, you can have another baby.”
The most important thing is for parents to actively and completely mourn the loss of their child. Therefore, family members should be very careful with what they say to the parents and respect their grief.
A psychologist can be useful when it comes to helping manage emotions. Couples should also find ways to channel suffering and support each other at all times. Communication will be essential.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Aznar, J., & Cerdá, G. (2014). Aborto y salud mental de la mujer. Acta bioethica, 20(2), 189-195. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S1726-569X2014000200006&script=sci_arttext
- Lavín, C. G., & de Logroño, D. E. T. S. (1994). Consecuencias psicopatológicas del aborto en la mujer. Cuadernos de Bioética, 1, 2. http://aebioetica.org/revistas/1994/1-2/17-18/28.pdf