With your hormones raging- being pregnant is emotional enough. If you have experienced a miscarriage before, your emotions are sure to be heightened even more. if you have experienced a miscarriage, you are not alone.
it is actually more common than you think for a woman to experience a miscarriage when trying to have a baby for the first time. as a mental health counselor, i see how common it is in my female clients. All of them come in feeling alone in their anxiety about their pregnancy, but they don’t need to be.
Even though miscarriages are so common, they are unfortunately not openly discussed in our culture. That is why I chose to write about it so that if you, or someone you know, experienced a miscarriage before and are now feeling overwhelmed or anxious while pregnant- you can know that you are not alone.
Below are 5 different emotions that I have seen my female clients experience as they navigate their pregnancy after experiencing a past MISCARRIAGE.
Anchor Therapy is a counseling center in Hoboken, NJ with psychotherapists specialized to help children, teens, and adults with anxiety and depression.
As a psychotherapist in Hoboken, I specialize in helping clients with their anxiety. I have had many pregnant female clients who feel anxious come in for help. There is a lot of anxiety that comes with being pregnant and preparing to be a first time mother. If you have experienced a miscarriage in the past, this anxiety will most likely be heightened. You may find yourself worrying often about when/how/if you will get another miscarriage. It can really take over your thoughts and cause you to worry daily. This anxiety can really cause you to stress more than you should while pregnant.
Stress is never good for anyone- especially a pregnant woman. Stress can be proven to cause physical illnesses and mental health issues. If you notice that your thoughts are constantly worrying about your pregnancy condition and you find yourself stressed, it is important to seek help. This help can come from a professional such as a psychotherapist or a friend/family member. It could be helpful to talk to someone who also has experienced a miscarriage in the past and went through a successful pregnancy. You ultimately want a safe space to discuss your fears and worries. And for someone to challenge the reality of your worries. If your medical doctor is telling you that your current pregnancy is healthy and on track, then there is no need to worry about the “What if this bad thing happens to me” thoughts.
Experiencing a miscarriage is a loss. Everyone deals with loss differently by grieving it in their own way. If you are still on some level grieving your miscarriage then it will make it even harder when you get pregnant again. If you are pregnant now, then you may be experiencing denial. You may feel anxious about telling your friends, family, coworkers, etc. about your pregnancy as you feel it may jinx it or you fear what will you tell them when you lose the baby. The doctor tells you at each check up that everything is looking good, but you feel deep down that something will go wrong. You may try to avoid a baby shower, buying baby clothes, buying maternity clothes, or decorating a baby’s room.
Denial is a stage of grief and a way our brain is able to cope with a traumatic event. If you experienced a miscarriage, you experienced a traumatic event. It is okay if you are in denial, but be aware it may make it hard for those around you. Your partner, your parents, your friends, etc. will want to celebrate your pregnancy with you. And you may feel the opposite. It is okay if you don’t want to announce on your Facebook page that you went through such a traumatic event. But you may want to explain it to your closest friends and family. They will then understand that it is going to take you more time to get excited about your baby. It may take your entire pregnancy and that is okay.
You may be thinking, “Why me?” when it comes to your miscarriage. Miscarriages happen for a million different reasons and it is so common to have a miscarriage while trying to get pregnant for the first time. It is so common that when you do become pregnant after a miscarriage, it’s not even considered high risk. So having a miscarriage is not an indicator that your next pregnancy will be unhealthy. You may see on social media other friends posting about how excited they are about their pregnancy or showing photos of their healthy children growing. You may feel agitated or angry with them and with yourself. That is okay to feel angry as long as you know there is nothing that you did wrong to cause your miscarriage.
There are obviously some things that are proven to cause miscarriages such as abusing drugs, but if your doctor told you that there was no definite cause then there is no need to add blame to yourself or your body. You are only human and sometimes terrible things happen in our lives that we cannot control. The only thing that you can control right now is practicing self care and making sure you are not being unnecessarily hard on yourself or others.
As a mental health therapist, I talk about women experiencing miscarriages all of the time. But for you, you probably are not chatting about miscarriages with all of your friends and colleagues. It is probably not the hot topic of discussion during Thanksgiving dinner. Since the topic of miscarriages are not spoken about often, you may feel alone. If you are feeling lonely then it will be harder to feel happy about your pregnancy. If you notice that you are feeling lonely in your struggle, then reach out to someone you can talk to about it. Again that can be a psychotherapist or a friend/family member who experienced a miscarriage before. You may also find a group in your town for women who have had experienced miscarriages, who have fertility issues, or who are pregnant. This will show you that you are definitely not alone and you can learn how others have gotten through the anxiety that comes with being pregnant.
After experiencing a miscarriage, feeling sad is expected. But outsiders don’t usually understand why a woman who has a medically healthy pregnancy is also sad. For you though, you may be feeling so anxious and stressed about wanting this pregnancy to go well that you become withdrawn from others, you may not enjoy things you used to get joy from, you may sleep often, and/or you may have a huge change in your appetite. These are all symptoms of depression which can be caused by a traumatic loss. It is possible to experience depression symptoms throughout your pregnancy. It is important to notice them and to seek professional help from a counselor or therapist if needed.
Whether you experienced a miscarriage yourself or have a friend/family member who has, feel free to share this blog post to help break the stigma against discussing this topic openly. Miscarriages are so common yet we rarely hear about them.
Feel free to fill out the form below to send a direct email to me if you need anymore support or advice on the topic or a similar one.
Courtney Glashow, LCSW
is a licensed psychotherapist practicing in Hoboken, New Jersey. She specializes in helping children, teens, and adults with anxiety and depression through counseling. Courtney can help NY or NJ residents through telehealth (video/phone) therapy sessions as well.