Having one or more miscarriages can affect your whole being – mentally, emotionally and physically. Every pregnancy loss is different and not everyone reacts the same way.
Often, along with the feelings of shock, grief, sadness, confusion and uncertainty, many couples feel resentment towards others who are pregnant or have children. They may also feel a sense of isolation in their attempt to keep it to themselves and end up grieving alone.
It’s important to know that it’s ok to feel all these feelings. They are all normal!
What may be helpful is if you can find someone to listen to you – be it a friend or family member or possibly someone qualified and experienced to support and advise you and give you strategies on how to look after yourself and your partner.
Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
According to research, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It’s important to know that having one miscarriage doesn’t significantly increase the chance of having another miscarriage.
Many couples who come to see me after they have had one or more miscarriages, are encouraged by the fact that they can go on to have a successful and healthy pregnancy.
A miscarriage can occur suddenly (over a few hours) or it may occur over a few days or weeks. Usually, the first sign of a possible miscarriage is vaginal bleeding and this can be accompanied by period-like cramping.
It is really important to contact your doctor if you are concerned you might be having a miscarriage.
There are so many reasons and causes of miscarriage, but it is important to know that miscarriages are rarely caused by anything you did or didn’t do. Having said this, a preconception period of at least 3 months, whereby both prospective parents follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, has been proven to be helpful in the outcome of a healthy embryo and hence, preventing possible miscarriage.
Couples are often quick to blame themselves and then feel guilty for whatever it was they thought was ‘the cause’. It’s so important for me to emphasise here that this can only make you feel worse. Having said this, there are certain factors such as age, poor diet, smoking or alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy that can put couples at a greater risk.
Some common causes that are completely out of your control may include structural abnormalities of the uterus or cervix, thyroid disorders, hormonal or immune deficiencies, blood clotting problems as well as genetic or chromosomal abnormalities with the egg or sperm.
When couples see me after experiencing miscarriages, whether or not they know the cause, I always address their individual needs from a holistic perspective and discuss the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Many couples are surprised to learn that sperm quality, morphology and DNA makeup play as big a role as egg health. In fact, in the last 10 years, I’ve noticed a trend towards more issues regarding sperm health and miscarriage, especially within the 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Depending on their needs, I will also incorporate evidence-based nutrients as well as herbs and supplements traditionally and specifically used for miscarriage.
Optimal thyroid and adrenal function are essential factors in the susceptibility to miscarriage. I always make sure I address these areas to ensure they are working in perfect balance to support and encourage hormonal stability.
It can be an empowering feeling to have this knowledge!
Many couples tell me it gives them a sense of strength in being able to take back some control over their situation.
I will also advise them both on what they can do to help themselves prepare for their next pregnancy, so that their journey is as enjoyable and healthy as possible!