This article doesn't tell you what happens medically when you have
a miscarriage, or what the reasons were, or how to prevent another
one. All we've done is think of things that have helped us get through
having miscarriages, and things that haven't, in the hope that they
may help someone else.
And yes, some of this advice does contradict itself, but then having
a miscarriage is an individual experience, as much as a shared loss,
so don't worry if some of the ideas don't sound right for you.
If you are reading this because someone close to you has had a miscarriage,
the section on what to say and what not to say may be of help. But
remember, it's better to be there for someone than to avoid them
out of fear of saying the wrong thing.
While you are miscarrying, or just after, give yourself time. Most
of us realised we shouldn't go back to work to soon, but equally,
being alone was a scary prospect.
"Not being on my own for about a week afterwards. I had to
make sure I was doing stuff in the evenings or days cos otherwise
I would brood too much."
"Having company - various family members rearranged their lives
so I wasn't on my own for 10 days."
"Not being left on my own for the first week."
"Firstly, I needed to be alone - whether that was because my
3 miscarriage were quite painful and I was doubled over I don't
know, but I needed to be by myself and not do anything."
"Having a day in bed alone to cry with my cats and going away
the week after to see family."
"I think I should have taken more time off work, a whole week
at least. Both times I went to work on 4th day after finding out
about the miscarriage and 2 days after D&C. I felt good initially
to be doing something, but since I hadn't told work about the pregnancies,
I didn't tell them about the miscarriages and it was very hard trying
to be as if everything was ok. I also think I might have gotten
over the weekly crying bouts sooner if I had given myself more time
in the beginning."
You're not alone. The father of a miscarried child is often forgotten,
and even when he is remembered, often suppresses his emotions in
order to be 'strong' for his partner. We didn't find that helped.
"It helped hearing my husband get upset about it too (finally)
rather than just being there for me."
"Crying loads, and hubby crying too."
"Talking about it with hubby."
"Seeing my hubby upset. It helped to know he understood."
"I needed hubby but hubby was not too good, he was very upset
with 1st miscarriage but 2nd & 3rd he seemed to bounce back
"My husband eventually (several months later)telling me he
had been upset too (it took a screaming row and some wild accusations
which I later apologised for on my behalf to get him to let his
emotions finally show!) He had been too busy trying to "be
positive" on my behalf that he didn't realise that the best
thing I could hear was that he felt upset too."
"Men do get ignored. My hubby told me after this miscarriage
how hard he found the first one. When waiting in hospital to have
the D&C just after the scan I said, "When I am having the
op ring x, y and z and then chuck out all the maternity books."
Well as I was being wheeled down the corridor he had to leave me
and I was there begging him to make this right and not let me go
through this and being generally on the verge of hysteria, he told
me that people visiting the hospital had to take him to sit down
for a while because he was upset about what was happening, but my
reaction just took him over the edge. Sadly men are forgotten in
"Try to understand that if your partner appears unemotional
after a miscarriage that he may well be putting on a front so that
he can offer you support. I found the apparent lack of emotion from
my own very hard to deal with until he explained that he felt it
was his responsibility to be strong for me and the only way he could
offer 100% support. It helped me to know that he too had cried -
even if it was on his own."
"It didn't help that my husband was being "strong"
which I took as being unfeeling! Mars/Venus spring to mind?!"
We found talking to people who knew what it was like was very helpful.
"Hearing about other people's miscarriages, and knowing it
hadn't only happened to me - especially when I found out more about
those that sounded JUST like my miscarriage - eg a missed one."
"Finding out that friends had been through it too."
"Chatting about it on the forum
helped me to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life
and hearing news of others helped me come to terms with my own loss."
"Talking to others who have been through the same thing and
now have healthy babies."
"Talked it through some more with people who had similar experiences,
that helped me no end."
"Posting on the forum of course!"
"The support I got on this forum"
"I needed you lot on the forum
- it helped so much talking to you all and that is why I always
try to talk to others on here when it happens - I think we need
to make more of an effort to talk to individuals when they message
in with their news."
"Of course, the forum has been
an enormous source of help and support."
There are practical things that other people can do for you, and
that you don't have to do for yourself. They want to help, so let
"My sister told friends and family members so that when I called/saw
them I didn't have to deal with their initial shock too. (A colleague
also told other colleagues for me so that when I returned I didn't
have to explain my absence numerous times)."
"If you have an early scan due to bleeding take a partner/friend
or relative with you - if the news is bad you will want support."
"If you have an ERPOC you should have someone at home with
you - you may not want them there but you will have had an anaesthetic
and should rest up."
"The nicest thing someone at home can do is make sure the house
is all clean and tidy so it feels good to come back to with food
in the fridge and just be there to spoil you."
Most of us wanted to know 'why?' and get as much information as
we could, even if the information we found didn't answer all the
questions we had.
"Finding out as much info on miscarriage as possible so I could
understand what happened and that it wasn't my fault'."
"Buying 'Miscarriage -what every woman should know' (I think
that's the title) and reading it cover to cover. Basically reading
anything I could on the subject."
"Getting as much info about miscarriage as possible. Someone
recommended the book, Miscarriage, What Every Woman Needs To Know,
by Professor Lesley Regan. It's a positive book that helped me believe
that I had no control over what happened. It also answered a lot
of my questions."
"I read and read article after article on the subject. I needed
to know what could/can cause an miscarriage. I really would recommend
'Miscarriage' By Lesley Regan."
"After 2nd miscarriage I went to the doc and asked for some
tests to be done, I felt I had to be investigating every angle I
couldn't just sit around. So I read, I had tests and I also cut
out everything that could interfere with it happening again. I made
hubby give up smoking, I gave up coffee & improved my diet."
"Having a wonderfully supportive GP who sent me for tests after
the second one as I was still bleeding/in pain. Although the tests
didn't find much (just a bit of endometriosis) and nothing that
indicated why I miscarried at least it was reassuring in some ways."
"Reading everything I could get my hands on about the subject
(another plug for Lesley Regan's book)."
"For me what helped most was reading the very thin hospital
miscarriage booklet, where it said that thoughts or doing sports
do not cause miscarriage. Now this sounds crazy since it should
be obvious that they don't, but after my first miscarriage I was
very irrational about many things for a good while. I felt very
guilty that I had at times thought along the lines of "This
pregnancy is so hard, nausea is awful, do I really have to go through
this much longer." I had also kept going to the gym and was
afraid I'd caused the miscarriage somehow. In reality it is next
to impossible to cause a miscarriage in a healthy pregnancy, otherwise
we wouldn't need abortions.
Also what helped was finding out about missed miscarriages, which
I had never heard of. The first (substitute) doctor I saw for a
scan where the miscarriage was spotted, said a missed miscarriage
was like when dogs have false pregnancies. I thought I was a mental
case and had just imagined being pregnant. It wasn't until the day
after when I had D&C and a nurse explained to me that I had
indeed really been pregnant."
"If you want lots of info and answers then read Miscarriage
by Prof Lesley Regan."
"Reading up on the reasons behind a miscarriage (Prof Regan's
"I found talking about it helped me and also reading books
about coping. It wasn't until then that I realised I could grieve
for the person I had lost. Until then I wasn't sure whether you
could grieve for someone you had not met and that it was not my
After a few days, you might feel a lot better, and think this is
'over'. Then it hits again. We found that recovering emotionally
from a miscarriage took longer than we were expecting, and the aftershocks
came back when we were least expecting them.
"Accepting that even though I feel 'fine' a lot of the time,
there will be 'off' days, and that's ok."
"If you're having a bad day, just go with it. Best to get all
the emotions out."
"What helped was allowing myself a grieving period. A lot of
people don't understand why it can take so long to get over a miscarriage,
especially if it was early on, but I didn't allow that to affect
me. I took my time and dealt with it day by day, I refused to excuse
or hide the way I felt, as I had every reason the world to grieve."
"I accepted that when it happened my life changed forever.
By this I mean, in those few weeks we had named our child, discussed
furniture, what we would do at Christmas etc. That changed our future
that day and we will never get that back. When you realise that
I think it is the first step to recovery. You have to grieve for
that child, and for that future you have made."
"Accepted that I would be upset at times, and even 6 months
later can still think about it."
Sometimes spiritual things help. We all have different beliefs and
religions, but there are a variety of things you can do to 'say
"My mum has had 2 miscarriages, one before I was born and one
10 years ago. Something that helped her was organising a sort of
memorial service for those who lost babies either during the 9 months
or shortly after birth. Initially she was involved with one at the
hospital chapel (she's a nurse), then she organised one in our parish
church, to which she had a good turn out. The service was a series
of readings and meditations, and as each person left they were given
a white carnation for each baby they'd lost. On to it was tied a
tag with the words; 'So briefly known, so dearly loved, but never
"Planted a tree."
"Seeing our little baby and saying goodbye properly. (I miscarried
at 16 weeks)
And then having our baby blessed by the hospital chaplain."
"Having a service of remembrance in the hospital church (after
the baby had come back from post-mortem and been cremated) At the
service we were given a memento which we keep beside our bed - so
she's always in our thoughts."
"I did a ritual, which a 'witch' friend of mine came up with.
I took two plain white candles, two plain and rubbed some lavender
essential oil onto the wick and down the sides of both candles ,
and on my forehead, temples and wrists. I wrote my name on one candle
and the words 'grief, anger, loss' on the other candle. Then burnt
some of the lavender oil in a ceramic pot before lighting the candles,
which must be placed in holders right next to each other on a table.
After lighting them, I visualised myself coming out of this situation
empowered by the experience and planning to be a wonderful mother
soon. I visualised a white light surrounding my body as I said out
"Though my grief is real
With the light of my life
It will now all heal
I take control of the situation
And cast aside this depression"
So will it be.
I let the candles burn for an hour or two and then snuffed them
out with a spoon. This ritual is most effective if repeated on 9
consecutive nights at the same time or just before going to bed
and each time moving the candle which represents depression one
inch away from the candle with your name on it after saying the
incantation out loud. On the ninth night I simply let the candles
burn out completely and disposed of any wax left.
The important part of this ritual is the act of moving the depression
away from oneself."
Miscellaneous other things that helped:
"Planting seeds (I'm growing tomatoes and herbs). I'm a bad
gardener, so I picked something that would grow without too much
help from me, and it's really satisfying to see these plants I helped
create. Also oddly comforting to see that a few seeds - treated
like all the rest - just didn't grow. No-one's fault, it just didn't
happen. Drew my own comparisons with that one."
"Planting seeds. I watch them grow perfectly, watching some
grow and die, some grow deformed and others not at all. Reinforced
'mother nature' for me. You know it is luck."
"What helped too was exercise and some physical pampering:
facials and reflexology. The workouts and treatments made me reconnect
with my body, which I felt had let me down. Taking care of myself
made me appreciate myself more as I also deep down felt that there
was something wrong with me to have had a miscarriage. Facials also
helped with post-miscarriage acne which was due to the hormonal
"I found that writing my thoughts down was incredibly useful
very early on. I'd said all I could say really to my hubby, my mum
and my closest friends but I still had so much in me wanting to
come out. When I felt I was going to burst but I didn't actually
want to cry (which also helped enormously) writing things down went
a long way to sorting my emotions out."
"Watching a weepy film with my husband and both crying. It
helped us bring out our feelings and progress with the healing process."
"Writing silly poems, that's how everyone first got to know
me as Tigger on the forum. I found
it easier saying how I felt that way."
"I admit I went in the nursery to be after the first miscarriage
and smashed loads of things. You know how in the movies and TV they
just swipe stuff of the table and I did that, leant against the
wall and slumped to the floor in floods of tears. I can laugh now,
but I felt so much better. I had a lot of anger that time and that
got it out."
"Bach's Rescue Remedy - I was given this by my local hospital
& whether it works or not, it certainly made me feel a bit more
in control during my more hysterical moments."
"Being angry (Daniella Westbrook was a particular target)!"
"If you can take a break even if just for a weekend, a total
change of scenery can really help. However much you may not feel
like it if you go with a partner, family or good friends who will
understand your weaker moments it will take your mind off things."
Do you tell people or don't you? We did different things and found
it to be both helpful and unhelpful - largely depending on whom
"Having people know - rather than not know as at least I wasn't
hiding a big part of my life. Although I can understand people not
telling people too."
"Talking about it to a couple of close friends really helped."
"I also needed friends & family to know - but hated some
of the 'quotes' that came back."
"Talking to a close friend about it"
"My work colleagues who told me to go home and rest when I
was in limbo (didn't know if I was going to miscarriage or not).
And who were sympathetic when I went back to work. My in-laws who
were lovely and kept phoning up to see how I was and if there was
"Not telling anyone at the time as I couldn't deal with other
"When people trying to console you but come out with crass
comments - however shallow or hurtful they seem - remember these
people are only trying to help. They do not know what to say and
are doing their best (however hard it may be to believe sometimes).
Imagine someone told you some incredibly sad and shocking news -
would you always say exactly the right thing?"
"Hiding all pregnancy magazines/books afterwards."
"Putting all pregnancy and maternity info/clothes etc in a
special place - not so much hiding it away as keeping it safe for
"Hiding all the pregnancy books."
Other people, other people's pregnancies, and our own 'ghost' pregnancies
"Not avoiding babies if it will impact on my social life. Yes,
it's been hard sometimes, but if the alternative is to sit at home
and think miserable thoughts, I'd prefer to be out there, looking
at babies and thinking 'Ours, when we have it, will be SO much more
beautiful than that!'."
"When you see pregnant people or other peoples babies, remember
they are not yours. Their pregnancy is something very different
and you do not know how long it took or what they had to go through
in order to achieve it. I find this helps dealing with natural feelings
"Also, now that I am a good few weeks past the miscarriage
which was at 11 weeks, I have found that I have put a block on working
out where I would be at this stage because I feel personally that
it would only be self-destructive. If I find my mind edging that
way then I will tell myself "no" and think of other things
that aren't related. It works for me but I understand it's probably
very difficult to do."
"Is to say that I'm finding that looking to the future, rather
than at 'what stage would I be at now' is much more healthy after
an miscarriage. It's so natural to think 'I'd be at 9 weeks now',
but if I think like that I just get too depressed - best to think
'We'll do it by the end of the year.', and then if it doesn't happen,
just move the goalposts a little!"
"With the pregnancies that I miscarriaged I didn't figure out
a due date too closely and didn't keep counting the weeks after
the miscarriage at all, so I later didn't have a day when I knew
I'd have been due to bum me out and didn't compare myself to people
at the same stage. Of course I had a general idea and it felt bad
to think a year later, that I'd be a mum now if things had turned
differently. Still, it wasn't a huge mountain to climb over."
After some time, we tried to see the positive things that had come
out of our experiences - although none of us thanked anyone else
for pointing them out - they had to come from us.
Overall though, the consensus was that where the miscarriage was
known about, we much preferred it if someone could tell us that
they were sorry, and at least acknowledge it in some way, than if
they ignored it.
"Trying to think positively about it 'well, at least we can
get pregnant now' (although only helped a while afterwards)."
"Most importantly for me though was I never gave up hope, I
told myself I will have a baby, hubby & I are a good couple
and I had made my mind up it would happen for us - stay positive."
"Being as positive as possible (this took quite a few months
before I got this far!). We decorated the nursery and started buying
stuff for a baby in January and I got pregnant for a 4th time in
February. 27 weeks later Harry is hopefully hanging on in there."
"Knowing that we can get pregnant helps."
"Realising just how much stronger hubby and I are together
having gone through this."
"A cliché but the pain did fade over time. I accepted
what had happened and moved on to starting trying to conceive again."
"One thing, slightly off topic, in a weird way one positive
thing has come out of my miscarriage. When I first got pregnant
it happened the first month of trying to conceive and I was a bit
shocked and, to be honest, ambivalent. Having a miscarriage and
then 7 months of trying to conceive has made me realise how much
of a blessing pregnancy is."
"Hope that might I help someone else. I just want to say on
this forum that my husband was incredibly
amazingly supportive - I had never realised just how strong the
bloke is until our miscarriage and it has brought us closer than
ever. There can be positive things come out of negative."
"Trying again straight away."
So what didn't help? And what did we wish people hadn't said?
"Being told I hadn't known anything was wrong because I'd never
been pregnant before."
"Being told 'at least it happened early'. That really didn't
help, made me worry about it happening later another time."
"People ignoring the fact that it ever happened. OK, sometimes
it's really nice to forget, but I did appreciate very much people
who said 'I'm sorry about your miscarriage'. Meant it felt more
real to me than forgotten about."
"Seeing/hearing about those who are at the same stage I would
have been at."
"Trite comments like 'its nature's way', etc."
"Seeing people who you know are pregnant and are at the same
stage. However, not all pregnant people had this effect on me."
"I went to a 'healer' for help as I still had a lot of emotional
baggage. She seemed so nice but ended up bullying me into more sessions
and being very unprofessional. (Shame as I have had some wonderful
healing sessions with honest healers) Just be aware that people
can try and take advantage whilst you are vulnerable."
"People saying "There will be others"."
"People avoiding the issue. I have friends who still haven't
acknowledged what happened."
"The lack of consistency in the advice I was given by various
members of hospital staff about trying again."
"Being treated terribly by the doctor in A&E and him almost
not believing me, even though I think I passed the sac thing in
the sample of wee I gave him to test! I got sent home with no advice,
no sympathy, nothing and that really made me feel so bad. Luckily
my GP was great, but I had to wait another day to see her because
I miscarried on a Saturday morning."
"Comments from a so called friend (with two kids) that "Never
mind - I should try again straight away" It was the last thing
I wanted to do and I resented the fact that she didn't have a clue
what I was going through. And similarly comments like "it wasn't
meant to be" etc. That didn't help one little bit, especially
coming from those who didn't know what you go through. If they wanted
to help a simple "I am sorry" would have been enough and
"how are you"."
"Comments from my b**ch of a manager who kept going on about
babies knowing that I had just lost mine. I should have taken more
time off - I was an emotional wreck for a while afterwards."
"The hospital which told me to go away and miscarry and take
a paracetamol for the pain (yeah that really helped)."
"My husband who had me hoovering and tidying the house the
day after I started bleeding. I was furious, but knew that it was
too late then anyway. I think it was his way of dealing with it
- getting back to normality."
"The usual comments from the "experts" who say to
you "I know someone who had xxx miscarriages and went on to
have a healthy baby etc. etc." I know they are trying to cheer
us up but it really doesn't help at all."
"People that know, not acknowledging that anything has happened.
"Charting - it made the previous losses more acute in some
ways, especially as I had got pregnan twithout planning and yet
when we started really trying it took 10 months."
"Being told well at least it was early on. It doesn't matter
what stage you were at in my opinion its still heartbreaking."
"Two of the miscarriages not being recognised by the medical
profession due to no positive pregnancy test result. The second
and worst one we realised as I was doubled over in pain, bleeding
badly etc. GP was sure that was what it was but because I had started
bleeding on the Thursday/Friday and couldn't get to see him until
the Tuesday there was no HCG left to measure. He was sure it was
a miscarriage but it couldn't "officially" be counted
as one, by the 3rd I didn't even bother going to the doctors. "
"Being told my current pregnancy is a replacement."
"Feeling guilty during this pregnancy for not enjoying it and
worrying about every little thing."
"Trying to carry on like it didn't matter and I didn't care."
"People hurt me by saying "Oh don't worry you'll get another
chance" and "it's natures way of saying there's something
wrong with this one" and my own biological clock ticking away
and wondering how much time have I got left and how many more chances
will I have."
"I have found it very hard to deal with some friends who are
either pregnant or with new babies so I'm afraid that I have had
to avoid them otherwise I end up back at square one and a sobbing
wreck! (Forum buddies excepted of course)."
"Ignoring so-called well-meaning advice. I found that people
who said such things as "Well, most women have at least one"
or telling me I would be pregnant again very soon, (sooner than
they thought as I lost a twin) really upset me. It was as if they
were saying that my baby would be replaced and that isn't the case.
As anyone who has had a miscarriage knows, it was unique right from
conception, which is why I am still upset about my baby not having
its brother or sister with it, and wondering how alike or different
they would have been. In some ways, my baby is a constant reminder
of the one I lost, although I do appreciate what I have."
"People (including family and friends) who say
1) At least it was early
2) Something was wrong so it was a good thing
3) You are young and can get pregnant again... followed by wanting
4) You can have kids why are you so upset
5) Come on don't sit around and mope get back to work and focus
on other things
6) Oh such and such is pregnant and is due when you were...
7) People who ignore it. At work people in my office knew and most
didn't say a word but were eager to ask my friend when I was off
sick if I was pregnant. Not on. I feel that if you come across someone
you know who has had this happen, acknowledge it. I can't tell you
how bad I felt when waiting for someone to say sorry. I know it
is hard as people fear upsetting you, but I would rather cry than
bottle it up, and it made my life in the office very hard for a
while as I felt like it didn't matter to them. Don't be embarrassed
to acknowledge something and upset someone. It helps.
8) Ignoring Hubby/Partner.
"3 girls at work getting pregnant accidentally in the 2 months
since my miscarriage. Real agony."
"People not knowing and asking when we were going to start
All those fears and feelings don't go away if you are lucky enough
to get pregnant again. This was one of the most difficult times
for us. What helped us to stop panicking when pregnant after a miscarriage?
"You will be a nervous wreck, but it is perfectly normal. I
think that we all worry endlessly anyway, so you wont be much different.
I am desperately waiting for a week tomorrow when baby is considered
"viable", so at least it will have a fighting chance if
it comes really early. "
"As the mum of 2, I can say that you never stop worrying. First
pregnancy, then birth, then every day of their lives. All you can
do is take it easy and try to relax."
"Well the visualisation techniques that I read about in an
article about the effects of stress on pregnancy helped in the early
days, but I am afraid I am still constantly looking for reassurance.
My blood pressure went sky high for my booking in appointment and
I have no doubt that it will be again for my 20 week scan Friday."
"On the other hand the early scan was great and hearing the
heartbeat between scans was reassuring too."
"I tell you what having forumites
to talk too has definitely helped!!!!!!!!!!!"
"I worried EVERY time I got pregnant, be it with my ONE full
termer or any of the many pregnancies"
"Nothing really, except maybe being strapped to a scan machine
for 9 months! After a miscarriage I read so much and while it was
helpful, it also made me more aware how something could go wrong
at every stage in the pg, getting past the 12 weeks mark isn't an
instant worry-solver. The only thing that helps me unfortunately
is keeping a low profile, not getting too excited about the pregnancy
yet, not buying anything and trying to put it out of my mind as
much as possible, although it isn't possible."
"I'm 17 weeks now and eagerly awaiting my 20 week scan, which
now feels like a definite goal and should let me relax more, start
buying things etc. Knowing myself, the reassurance won't last long
and I may just as well start looking forward to the next doctor's
appointment or whatever as the passage I need to cross to worry-free
"I was a nervous wreck until after my 20 week scan (we didn't
have one at 12 weeks) but then I began to relax a bit. Once the
baby starts moving, it becomes really reassuring. Strangely enough,
having a miscarriage made me slow down and take things much easier
when I became pregnant again, I refused to take on extra work and
do anything that would make me stressed."
"Pregnancy symptoms have helped a little bit. All day sickness
and sore boobs, headaches, backache, constipation and the burping
syndrome - didn't have any thing like that last time! BUT I got
them all this time and my tummy is starting to expand now which
again never happened before. So although I feel sick all the time
I feel wonderful!!!"
"My GP took the time to try to reassure me and booked me in
for an early scan, which was very helpful. He very cleverly turned
all the statistics round so that I started seeing them in a more
positive light. The physio, whom I was seeing for an entirely different
reason, was so thrilled when I said I was pregnant again that she
hugged me, which was a bit of a surprise! And my lovely husband
(who was one of those who tried to be 'strong' for me after the
miscarriage until I accused him of not caring) has been really communicative
throughout. Now I can feel the baby move (it appears to be looping
the loop at the moment)I feel a lot more confident, but won't be
100% until it's born".
"Scans and more scans!! The heartbeat at 8 weeks was a relief,
also feeling different - I am definitely more sick this time (been
sick and constantly feel sick rather than when hungry as before),
also much more tired this time and have gone off tea (unheard of
"Funnily enough telling a few people this time - those who
knew about miscarriage, first time round we told no one, this time
round told parents and closest friends - that helped enormously
someone to confide in when you were paranoid! It also made life
easier at work that my closest friend knew why a food run was important!!
Also mentally felt we acknowledged the existence of the baby second
time round, first time almost ignored it!!"
"The 12 week scan was also a milestone as even after seeing
the heartbeat at 8 weeks still worried till 12 weeks but saw a definite
baby at 12 weeks, I'm still a bit concerned until 20 week scan but
not so much as from 8 to 12 weeks."
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