Grief After Miscarriage
Unfortunately, society does not generally recognise miscarriage as the death of a child which must be followed by a period of grieving, but many of us who have been through the experience know otherwise. If this is your first miscarriage, you may be surprised by the intensity of your feelings.
The pain of grief is caused by the loss of something we have bonded to, and the stronger this bond, the deeper the pain. Studies show that the mother usually begins bonding with the baby from very early pregnancy, although many of us weren't even aware of it, so the pain of this grief often comes as a shock. As the acceptance of the loss grows, the pain diminishes.
Your feelings will probably include the following: shock/denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance, there is no sequence. Even after we have dealt with these feelings, they can recur, but will gradually diminish in intensity. Although guilt is a normal part of grief, in miscarriage it plays a much greater role. We want to reassure you that nothing you did or didn't do caused the death of your baby. Some people feel this was a punishment from God, but this was an act of nature. We all tend to want to blame someone, especially when we don't have answers.
It is healthy to grieve following a loss and grief is referred to as "the healing feeling". It varies greatly but by three to six months you should be feeling more like your old self, but not quite the same. If it is taking longer, or you feel obsessed by your loss, we recommend counselling.
Repressing our feelings by taking sedatives or alcohol are tactics we can use to prevent ourselves from feeling pain. While initially they seem to deaden it, they really just slow down the grieving process so that it drags on unnecessarily.