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How to cope with miscarriage

grief miscarriage Oct 04, 2023
How to cope with miscarriage

Having experienced a miscarriage at 8 weeks following 3 years of infertility and 4 rounds of fertility treatment I want to share how to cope with miscarriage by sharing some of the techniques that I found indispensable to my well-being and happiness.  

Everyone is different but I recommend the following ways of how to cope with miscarriage, be that one you are going through at the moment or one that happened in the past:

Just stop

It can be tempting to carry on as normal but you and your body have been through a lot and you need time to process what has happened and recover physically. Take time off work if you can (you are entitled to time off), cancel your immediate commitments and take some time for you. I’m not saying take to your bed for weeks but give yourself a few days off especially during the actual miscarriage.

Also just stop at intervals throughout your day and breath. You could practice my 3 + 2 = 5 breathing. Breathe in for the count of 3, hold your breath for 2 counts and breathe out for the count of 5. This sends the message to your body that it is safe to relax.

Nourish yourself and your body

Take this time to really nourish yourself both physically, by getting as much sleep as possible and by eating and drinking (water) frequently, and emotionally by practising mindfulness, being totally present in the moment, not going over past events or looking to the future. To learn more about mindfulness and listen to an hour-long interview on how mindfulness has changed my perspective of every area of my life see ‘What is mindfulness?’ 

Give yourself a hug!
Experiencing a miscarriage is likely to put your body into stress response, to read more on this subject read ‘Fight, flight or freeze and Fox’ and to bring your body back out of stress response and into relaxation response try the self soothing techniques at the end of that blog. Simply hold or tap on certain acupressure points whenever you are feeling in need of comfort – my favourite is giving yourself a hug. Wrap one arm around your ribs under your breast and then wrap your other arm on top holding just above your elbow and give yourself a hug! This position allows you to hold acupressure points that calm your body down and give you an energy boost. Hold for a few moments while breathing deeply and then swap sides.

Don’t fight the feelings

Most importantly do not fight how you are feeling, by shoving emotions down they will resurface at some point. Acknowledge your feelings in one or all of the following ways:

Write a letter to your unborn child
Incredibly powerful no matter at what stage you lost your baby. It can be beneficial to name your baby, perhaps with a non-gender specific name, to honour the fact that you were pregnant. Miscarriage, especially during early pregnancy, can be brushed under the carpet but you can experience the same sense of grief as if you have lost any other family member. You do not need to say goodbye if that does not feel right to you you could just write a letter expressing how you feel, perhaps how you feel about the loss, anything you would like to say to them. You may prefer to find a poem that feels special to you. I also recommend this exercise for anyone experiencing infertility even if you have never been pregnant as the feeling of loss can be just as overwhelming. I wrote my poem ‘An Unborn Mother’ following our first IUI fail. During the Embrace Fertility Method Course we also write a letter of complaint, this can be addressed to whoever or whatever you like and allows you to voice all of the anger, frustration and grief that you may be feeling. You could end the letter by writing about why you will be an amazing parent.

Use EFT to release those emotions
I encourage you use emotional freedom technique (EFT) while reading your letter aloud. EFT, where you simply tap on acupressure points on your face and body while focusing on the emotions/thoughts you would like to be free of has been a keystone in my emotional well-being during the past few months.

Hold a ceremony
You may also like to hold your own ceremony, many women find this incredibly healing and gives them an outlet to express their emotions. It can be very private just you or you could include your partner, family or a close friend. Do whatever feels right for you but here are some ideas from Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer:

Collect any items that remind you of your unborn baby.
Find a special place to do your ceremony that is meaningful to you.
Perhaps light candles, play some music or sit in silence.
Read your letter/poem aloud if that feels right.
Allow as much time as you need to say what you need to.
Find a symbolic ritual to end the ceremony. Bury or burn your letter or release a balloon perhaps.
Find a symbolic ritual to give thanks, perhaps planting a flower or some seeds.

Or attend a Church service
The Saying Goodbye Services are the first national (UK) set of remembrance services for people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.

Hypnosis MP3 for coping and comfort

I have written and recorded various hypnosis MP3s to support fertility, IVF and pregnancy following infertility and I have created one called coping and comfort.

After a miscarriage we can be left feeling devastated, shocked, anxious, stressed, angry, exhausted and analysing everything that did or did not happen. I asked how you would prefer to be feeling and a list of wonderful words emerged: resilient, peaceful, calm, hopeful, understood. You wanted to feel reassured and confident that the difficult times will pass, able to recharge following a time that perhaps took everything out of you.

So here you are, a hypnosis MP3 that incorporates simple techniques that you can use on a daily basis to bring your body out of stress response and into rest and relaxation response. I originally started writing this with coping with a failed cycle in mind but have chosen to keep the language open so that this track will also be suitable at any time you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or upset.

Plus ‘Self Soothers’ video

I guide you through four techniques within the recording, three of which incorporate holding acupressure points that bring comfort to the body and one that can be used to ease physical discomfort as well as emotional upset and is a simple trick we can play on the mind to instructed it to relax and unwind. Along with the hypnosis MP3 I will send you a video entitled ‘Self Soothers’ from my Embrace stress reduction course. The video demonstrates the acupressure techniques. They are so simple and once you have these in your back pocket you can use them throughout the day to make yourself feel better whenever you need. I have put a lot of thought and love into this recording and really hope that it succeeds in its intention which is to allow you to feel comforted and resilient in the face of difficult times.

I love the way it takes me into deep relaxation quickly and easily. I awoke feeling calmer this morning than I have in awhile.

– Suzanna

Love it! Well done and thank you, Naomi. Felt fairly relaxed before I started, probably a 7 but by the end was definitely a 10! Really easy to follow the instructions and the bit where you pull yourself out of relaxation and then push yourself deeper really works. Never tried that before. Makes me feel more in control of my feelings and confident that I can help myself relax in future. Reckon it would definitely send me off to sleep if I did it before bed! Xx

– Helen

Coping and comfort package

Coping and Comfort Hypnosis MP3 26 minutes and ‘Self soothers’ video £14.

This MP3 and video are also included in both my natural cycle and IVF hypnosis packs. The Embrace Fertility digital download store is up and running. Come on in.

Get support

Being able to connect to others who have been through similar and to know that you are in no way alone is incredibly healing.  The Fertility Network list support groups across the UK.

I also suggest getting professional support if what you are experiencing is too overwhelming to cope with on your own.

Even therapists have therapy!
I had a 1 – 1 session with wonderful therapist after my own miscarriage and I highly recommend getting support. Yes even therapists have therapy, if we did not it would be like a massage therapist only ever massaging themselves! There are some places it’s just hard to reach on your own! We did Tapas acupressure technique that I had not experienced before. It is a beautiful technique that involves holding acupressure points while focusing on emotions/thoughts. Our session was on the telephone and it was lovely to be able to curl up on the sofa with the cat and take time to really honour my pregnancy and work through how I was feeling following the miscarriage. Rosalind guided me through the session with gentle encouragement and I experienced some big shifts in my thinking. Following the miscarriage I was experiencing a flareup of physical symptoms that I had not had for months, digestive problems and headaches. I was also feeling stuck and unable to move forward on our fertility journey, we had already planned to take a break for the summer but I was feeling like I really couldn’t even think about moving forward until the end of the year. Part of the technique allows you to imagine, if you wish to, connecting with your unborn child. I found this incredibly touching and healing. In just 90 minutes we worked through many concerns I had and by the end of the session I felt incredibly relaxed and empowered.

Anxiety, overwhelm, anger, jealousy, depression and exhaustion. Just a few of the words my clients use to describe the repercussions of infertility.

Calm, understood, clarity, comfort, hopeful are used by the end of our sessions. I offer one-to-one fertility coaching and therapy via Zoom so work with clients all over the globe. I also offer sessions from my home in South Oxfordshire. To find out more see 1 to 1 support.

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