- How to cope up with a pregnancy loss
- Warning signs of miscarriage
- Waiting period
- Healthy lifestyle
Pregnancy is a joyous time, but it is really difficult to come out of the loss of pregnancy and to continue with a normal life. Miscarriage is also known as spontaneous abortion. Such a loss of a woman’s pregnancy is physically, mentally and emotionally painful. Miscarriage is a threatened complication which ends on its own within the 20th week of pregnancy, and it happens since the fetus has not developed normally. Some miscarriages also occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Reasons for miscarriage can be many and mostly cannot be identified. In the first trimester, the genetic chromosomal abnormality is the most common cause of miscarriage. A chromosomal abnormality is a defect with the baby’s chromosomes which happens due to a damaged egg.
Other causes of a miscarriage are hormonal problems, infections or the poor maternal health problems, smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to radiation or toxic substances, implantation of the egg into the uterine lining does not occur properly, maternal age and maternal trauma.
A miscarriage cannot be reversed and be alert to the following warning signs –
- Mild to severe back pain, intolerable pains which are worse than the menstrual cramps.
- Weight loss
- A whitish pink mucus, include fluid, blood or tissue passing from the vagina
- Painful contractions which happen every 5-20 minutes
- Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps (20-30% pregnancies can experience some bleeding in early pregnancy, with about 50% of those resulting in normal pregnancies)
- Lesser signs of pregnancy
- For women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can be 10-25%, and for most healthy women it is 15-20% chance.
- Women under the age of 35 yrs old have about a 15% chance of miscarriage, those between 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage and women over 45 can have 50% chance of miscarriage.
- Mothers who have diabetes or thyroid are also at the risk of miscarriage.
- Even a woman who has had a history of miscarriage in the past has a 25% chance of having another miscarriage.
To examine a woman’s symptoms of a miscarriage, an ultrasound scan is conducted. It can determine if the pregnancy is safe and intact. It can also reveal if the pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy (if the fetus is located outside the uterus). Other ways of diagnosing miscarriage include blood tests for pregnancy hormones, blood counts to determine blood loss or to see whether the infection is present, and a pelvic examination. To prevent problems in future pregnancies, the mother’s blood should also be checked at the time of a miscarriage, so that Rh-negative women can be injected with RhoGam.
Post miscarriage there are treatment options which are safe-
- Let the pregnancy tissue in the uterus pass naturally.
- Take a medication called misoprostol under the guidance of your doctor. It helps to remove the tissue in a week.
- A surgery to remove the tissue known as dilation and curettage (D&C). This is done if the bleeding is heavy or if an infection is suspected.
Pregnancy is considered to be the most beautiful phase of life with pink and blue dreams. But a loss of a baby can be difficult and beyond words. It diminishes the confidence in a future pregnancy.
No emotional formula or consoling can help the couple. They cope up and process their feelings in their own way and come out of the depressing phase. A loss isn’t easy. But give yourself another chance and another life.
- It takes a lot of courage to prepare yourself again for another baby. Give yourself the time, patience and credit you deserve on the second journey to motherhood.
- Get ready for it only when you are ready for it and do not be under any pressure.
- Get yourself checked by a gynecologist to know if you are physically fit after the waiting period.
- Take extra care this time and be happy.
The mother goes through a range of emotions during the aftermath of pregnancy loss like embarrassment, loneliness, shock, guilt, anger, bitterness, helplessness, depression, and the ‘what if imaginations.’
Ways to heal and cope up with the loss –
1. You have to deal with the feeling of guilt because pregnancy loss that one faces is not in your control. Treat yourself with love.
2. Help your partner to cope with it. A man does not cry to show his sadness like a woman. Share feelings with each other.
3.Do not distance yourself from your partner (husband or wife). Do not let misunderstandings and arguments creep into your relationship.
4. Physical activities and exercise may help you deviate attention from depression and state of embarrassment. It helps you strengthen your body with time.
5. Give yourself and your partner time to heal because no pain is permanent. Time heals everything.
6. Do not expect anything from anyone. Give yourself importance and time to heal and take a break from the regular or monotonous routine.
7. At the same time do not distance yourself from others. Maintain the relationships you have with your family and friends.
8. It is really tough to forget this phase but get close to your partner like before to heal the loss.
Prevent a miscarriage-
1.Consume 400 mg of folic acid every day for at least one to two months before conceiving.
2. Be healthy and stay fit
3. Eat healthy
4. Deal with stress
5. Healthy weight management, exercise in moderation
6.Say no to alcohol, drugs and cigarette smoking
7. Limit intake of caffeine
8. Be up to date on immunizations.
9. Avoid X-rays and radiation
10. Avoid sports activities and keep your belly safe
11. Be careful with medications