Coping with Miscarriage as an Individual and as a Couple

Recently, Stephen Mitchell, MDiv, PhD, LPC, LMFT, a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist, stopped in to be part of Focus on Fertility to discuss how individuals and couples can cope with miscarriage. Miscarriage is the most common cause of pregnancy loss.  Research studies have estimated that approximately 20% of all known pregnancies end in a miscarriage. In 2016, the CDC reported 4 million births  in the United States. Based on this statistic and the estimate of 20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage, it can be estimated that about 800,000 miscarriages occurred in 2016; a sobering number that indicates the commonality of miscarriage.

If you have suffered a miscarriage, you’re not alone. What should one do to cope? Dr. Mitchell mentioned that each individual and couple will cope in their own unique manor but there are some steps that can be considered to aid both individuals and couples.  These include:

Coping with a Miscarriage as a Couple

  1. Break the silence
    1. Talk About Your Experience
    2. Talk About What Are You Feeling
    3. Don’t measure each other’s feelings
  2. Discover Support Groups
    1. SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
    2. Faith/Work Communities
  3. Together, define the way you feel about the miscarriage experience

Being a Female and Coping with Miscarriage

  1. Understand Feelings of Guilt, Shame, Depression are Natural
  2. Don’t Be Silent
  3. Speak to Others
    1. Therapy
    2. Support Groups

Being a Male and Coping with Miscarriage

  1. You Don’t Have to Set Aside Your Experience for your Partner
  2. You Don’t Have to be Okay, Having Feelings is Normal for Men Too
  3. You Don’t Always Have to be the “Rock”
  4. Talk About Your Experience & Feelings

Dr. Mitchell also mentioned that there may be situations where additional therapy and professional assistance may be considered.  Such situations may include:

  1. Continued Conflict Between Partners
  2. Partners Feel More and More Distant from each other
  3. If you’re not able to enjoy life
  4. If you’re withdrawing from others

Remember, miscarriage, while emotional and painful is a common occurrence. Seek the support of friends, family and co-workers and be open to discussing your feelings. Your feelings of grief and pain are normal.

Listen to Dr. Mitchell’s full interview and advice

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