sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
Losing a child in the womb obviously causes a lot of pain. The heartache may linger at varying intensities for a lifetime. But, miscarriage also has other negative effects, including sometimes causing extreme anxiety. In fact, some studies suggest that around 20% of women who miscarry suffer from anxiety or depression.
These anxieties often manifest themselves during subsequent pregnancies. I’ve known women who have had panic attacks the night before an ultrasound, haunted by the result of their previous visit. Some mothers become compulsive as they try everything they can to “prevent” another miscarriage. However the anxiety is expressed, it’s a serious matter that takes away from the joy of another pregnancy.
If you or a loved one are struggling through anxiety after a miscarriage, what can you do? Everyone is different, but these strategies are a good starting point (you should always consult your doctor about feelings of anxiety and depression).
See a Counselor or Religious Leader
Miscarriage attacks women physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Even after a mother’s body has recovered, she may still have emotional and spiritual wounds that need to heal. Professional counselors and religious leaders can help you work through not only your grief, but also your anxieties about loss and future pregnancies. These professionals have likely counseled many people through a plethora of mental and spiritual struggles. Their listening ear and words of wisdom are invaluable.
Talk to a Loved One Who Has Gone through It.
While they cannot provide the depth of professional advice that counselors and religious leaders can, loved ones who have fought through their own anxiety battles may provide comfort in a time of need. No two situations are the same, but a friend or family member’s miscarriage experience likely has similarities that will allow them to sympathize with you. We have already highlighted just how helpful having a loved one present can be, but those who have experienced miscarriage may be especially helpful as anxiety rises.
Read the Facts
Miscarriages are almost never the mother’s fault. They typically result from chromosomal abnormalities that cannot be avoided. Women who experience a miscarriage will most likely never have another one. In fact, only 1 percent of women have two or more miscarriages. These facts and others may ease a mother’s anxiety when they get pregnant again. They certainly aren’t guarantees, but they do provide perspective on a family’s situation.
After healing, mothers should consider regular exercise to reduce anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety attacks, exercising four times a week may reduce the severity of these episodes. You may need to spend only 20-30 minutes exercising at a time to see some success, and for most women, working out during pregnancy has plenty of physical benefits as well.
Ask Others to Pray
If you believe in God, knowing that people are praying for you can comfort the soul. You may not feel comfortable sharing all the details of your anxieties with others, but if they generally know you are struggling, they can beseech the Almighty with some direction to your needs. This support often goes a long way to providing inner peace.
Anxiety is common after a miscarriage, and it manifests in different ways. Remember to always consult your doctor about your anxieties. It may require professional or medical attention. Even so, one or more of these ideas may provide some relief for women and families as they battle their fears in subsequent pregnancies.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University.