If you are reading 5 Tips for healing after a Miscarriage after a loss, I want to begin by saying that I am so, so sorry. The loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy is devastating, and that grief is often compounded if the miscarriage happens after a long struggle to conceive or if you’ve experienced a string a recurrent pregnancy losses.
You may or may not have answers to your, “Why?” You may be wondering if you’ll ever get pregnant again, be able to carry to term, or if you even have the strength to keep trying. Know that I am sending you so much love and hope that some of the tips and ideas here help to provide a bit of a roadmap as you grieve.
1. Be gentle
First, I want you to be extra gentle with yourself. A miscarriage is a physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausting loss. I also want you to let yourself off the hook. You did nothing wrong; most often a miscarriage simply happens and is out of anyone’s control.
2. Honor your little one
We have certain rituals to mark a death in our culture, such as funeral and memorial services. People gather to remember and comfort one another, which is an important part of the grieving process. A miscarriage is often a more private grief and many of the regular rituals around baby loss may not be available to you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own ritual to heal after a miscarriage
Often loss parents find it healing to find some way to tangibly honor their little one, express their love and say goodbye. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so be creative and use the following ideas to get you started in creating a ritual that is meaningful to you. You may choose just one thing from this list or you might combine several ideas to create an entire ceremony.
- Decide if this is something you want to do on your own, with your partner, or if you’d like to gather some close family and friends to be with you. You may even involve a priest, minister, rabbi, imam or some other spiritual guide if that feels fitting for you.
- Choose a place that feels right to you; this may be in your home, a special place in nature, or a sacred setting (ie. church, synagogue, mosque, etc.). Some cities or cemeteries have memorial gardens for babies who have died prior to birth.
- You may want to read or listen to some meaningful words. There are many poems, prayers, and special songs that are specific to heal a miscarriage and baby loss if you search online.
- Notice if there is something you’d like to do to honor your loss. Some ideas: light a candle, release a balloon, plant a tree, create a piece of art, bury something or release something into a body of water (a flower, a rock, etc.), dedicate a keepsake to the memory of your baby (piece of jewelry, teddy bear, blanket, baby outfit, figurine, etc.), write a letter to the baby, create a memory box with ultrasound photos, pregnancy tests, or any other keepsakes to help you to face a baby loss
- Some people will choose to name their baby to heal a miscarriage
3. Imagine a place.
When it comes to healing after a miscarriage, a baby was here and now they are gone. Sometimes it’s difficult not knowing where they went. You may want to spend some time imagining them in a safe and beautiful place. Depending on your beliefs, you may imagine them with other miscarried babies, in the arms of God or an angel, in heaven, integrated back into the earth or life cycle, as a spark in the universe, etc.
4. Anniversaries, Holidays & Days of Remembrance
Weeks, months or even years may have passed since your miscarriage and you will likely find that there is still a pang of sadness as you near important dates such as your due date, the anniversary of your loss, and holidays that you had hoped to celebrate with your baby. There is no “getting over” grief and time will not erase the memory of your little one. Be gentle with yourself on these days and take some time to let the tears flow and to remember your baby.
You may also choose to remember your baby in a special way on October 15 which is the International Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. Each year on that day a Wave of Light is held at 7pm local time – you are invited to light a candle and leave it lit for one hour to participate in the international Wave of Light for all babies gone too soon.
You can participate in the Wave of Light on your own or check to see if there is a public gathering being organized in your community or online where you can join others who have also experienced reproductive loss.
5. The next time
You may or may not already be thinking ahead to your next pregnancy. If you do conceive again after a loss it is normal to have a heightened level of anxiety, to be extra cautious, and to even feel guarded or distant from the new baby for a while.
Be sure to gather extra support around you during this time, especially from professionals who understand pregnancy after loss or women who’ve experienced similar journeys. Remember that this is a new pregnancy with every potential for a new ending.
The love and loss of a baby due to miscarriage is something that certainly changes you, but is not the whole of who you are or your entire story. It is a sad chapter that will become integrated into your larger narrative, a narrative that can still have hope for a happy ending.
In the IGNITE Your Fertility Membership I teach the five core practices of Fertile Hope Yoga: yoga, meditation, mindset strengthening work, gratitude, and community. I have seen time and time again how these practices support women trying to conceive (whether they’re trying naturally, in an active treatment cycle, or on a break).
You can email me with questions here.