Your emotions

After a miscarriage, women feel a broad range of emotions that can be strong and long lasting.  It way take longer to recover from these effects than from the physician effects.  Support from your doctor, maternity care provider, therapist or support group can help. Information from The Foundation for Medical Practice Education, www.fmpe.org

When to seek medical care?

Promptly call your maternity care provider or go to the emergency department if you notice heavy or long lasting vaginal bleeding (soaking two “maxipads” an hour for more than two hours or passing a clot the size of a walnut), severe abdominal pain, fever or chills, or a bad odour from your vagina.

What are the signs of a miscarriage?

Spotting (light vaginal bleeding) in early pregnancy is not always a sign of miscarriage and may happen when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus. In about half the cases, the pregnancy will continue normally. Your maternity care provider may send you for an ultrasound or other tests to find out what might be going on. When a miscarriage happens, your uterus contracts to push out the pregnancy tissue. You may have severe cramps and pain, heavy bleeding that may include clots, or pass the placenta (may look like blood clots or liver). These symptoms usually lessen within a few [...]

Why miscarriage happens?

Most happen by chance and are usually due to one-time problems with the genes that prevent the fetus from developing normally.  Miscarriage is not caused by bending, stretching, carrying heavy weights, having sex, working long hours or having an emotional upset.

Fathers and miscarriage

A miscarriage can be distressing for both parents. Fathers often feel a range of emotions from sadness to anger. It is common for the father to feel helpless as he watches the mother go through the physical demands of the miscarriage. Sometimes, he can neglect his own grief and sadness as he tries to be strong for his partner. It is important to approach this sad time together as a couple, each with their own timeframe of healing.

Emotional support after a miscarriage

Approximately 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage during their lifetime, most occurring within the first 3 months of gestation. This heterogeneous group of women will each live their miscarriage through their own experiential lens, although sharing certain common themes throughout their individual experiences. Common feelings associate with miscarriage include shame, uncertainty, dread, guilt, emptiness and lack of control. Some women may feel relief entwined within these other emotions. Despite the frequency of miscarriage, the loss can be invisible and the woman and her partner may not receive the support that they feel they need. This emotional burden carried by [...]

When to get help

Although not all providers (midwife, physician or nurse practitioner) have a formal follow up process after a woman has had a miscarriage, the woman would benefit by seeking care from her provider. By connecting with them, she would be provided with information and false assumptions could be addressed. In addition, support and resources could be offered. Although often extremely distressing, a miscarriage is not an emergency in the context of needing to visit the emergency department in most situations. In fact, when women do go to the emergency for a concern of miscarriage, they are often waiting many hours to receive [...]

What to expect after a miscarriage

Once a miscarriage is diagnosed, there are 3 different options that the woman may be presented with: Expectant Management: The first is just to wait for the contents of the pregnancy (or products of conception) to be expelled from the woman’s body. This may take up to 2 or 3 weeks, but usually occurs within 5-7 days. The pregnancy tissue typically goes into the toilet during a bowel movement or while voiding. The woman could have a small container in the bathroom in the event of the tissue wanting to be kept for testing or other reasons. Medical Management: The next [...]

What are the signs of miscarriage?

Typically, the first sign of miscarriage noticed is vaginal bleeding. If this occurs early in the pregnancy, it may look and feel like a typical period. If you do experience bleeding or spotting, call your primary care provider. An ultrasound or bloodwork is required to make the official diagnosis of miscarriage. If a miscarriage has begun, there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Is it safe to smoke marijuana during my pregnancy?

Marijuana has had a variety of studies in pregnancy and results are conflicting. Certainly smoking or ingesting a large amount can be harmful for baby. People often use marijuana to cope with stress or other situations. Pregnancy is a good time to try using other tools to manage this. Once the baby comes you need to ensure the marijuana does not affect your ability to care for your baby. Additionally, toddlers put everything in their mouths and a few have been known to eat the butts of joints and cigarettes and become comatose. So always be careful to dispose of things [...]

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