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PREGNANCY LOSS: Feelings and Healing

“We are so afraid to get pregnant again.”

You started to buy baby books, pick out names, look at cribs and even spread your good news – you were expecting. But you were not expecting to lose that life that barely had a beginning. Yet 1 in 4 or 5 pregnancies end before the baby is able to live outside the woman’s body. Many women go through the loss of a pregnancy within weeks after conception. Reasons for pregnancy loss, including stillbirths and miscarriages, are not always clear.

What helps most people cope with a loss through miscarriage, is knowing that after one miscarriage women have no higher chances of having another one. If you have had more than one miscarriage speak with your health care provider or a genetics counselor.

Saying goodbye

Grief is what you go through to re-adjust your life to a loss. Many parents grieve about what the baby “could” have been like. But they can move on. It takes time and the support of others.

It may be natural to want to be pregnant again, but it takes time to deal with your feelings. Women who become pregnant within 6 months of losing a baby can have a harder time with their grief. Just as the excitement of pregnancy can be different for men and women, so can the reaction to the loss of the pregnancy. For some men the loss of a pregnancy can be especially difficult if the woman gets all the sympathy and support. Women might have more chances to share their feelings of sadness and loss than men do. How we work through our feelings of loss is personal. Both partners need to be supportive and try to understand how the other is feeling and how their grieving can differ.

Feelings about pregnancy loss range from sadness, emptiness and loss of hope, to anger and blame. Though there is no clear medical reason to explain many pregnancy losses, parents may experience decreased self esteem, fear, guilt or blame themselves for the event.

Second chances

Being ready for another pregnancy depends on many things – your health, your emotional recovery, your relationship and other issues. Both men and women can handle the fear and anxiety from pregnancy loss better as they learn and share more.

Whether pregnancy loss is from miscarriage or stillbirth, and whether it happened a long time ago or recently, both men and women need to deal with their feelings. They need to know when they are ready to move on – to get pregnant again, if at all. Answers are not always simple. Think about what is best for both of you. There is no right or wrong time to get pregnant again. Every couple is different.

Compare answers and see how “together” you are on your feelings.

Feelings of sadness are normal. Sometimes depression can occur. If you are noticing changes in your normal activities – eating, sleeping, sex, use of alcohol or drugs, or in your relationships or work – seek help from a doctor, counsellor or local public health unit. This is a time to take good care of yourself.

Grief is one of the hardest topics to talk about – especially as it relates to the loss of a baby. It is the loss many of us least expect and may be least prepared for. Talking to other women, family and friends, about their experiences with pregnancy loss may help you work through your grief. Remember your thoughts and feelings have significant meaning and you do not have to feel alone.


Local public health unit: 1-800-267-8097

Health care provider


Perinatal Bereavement Services: 1-888-301-PBSO(7276) http://pbso.ca/main/

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