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If you’re reading this after experiencing a miscarriage, then you’re probably feeling pretty lost.   

Even though the stats like to constantly state how common it is – those 1 in 5 numbers aren’t really a remedy to fix how you’re feeling.

If anything, they sort of make you feel worse.

Want to scream, “Yes, it happens a lot, but it’s still shit, and it’s just happened to me!”?

Yeah, we hear you!

And while we can’t wave a magic wand and make it all better, we can help by answering a few questions that you could be asking right now.

But before you scroll down, we want you to know that it’s almost definitely NOT your fault.

How long will it take me to get over it?

You don’t have to. It’s never something that you have to ‘get over’ or forget. You will, of course, want to feel better, but when you do that, it is up to you. Just because it happens to a vast number of women doesn’t mean that you have to get yourself together and move on immediately. It’s also normal to feel out of control. So many women feel like their body has let them down, and they search for blame and cause. But usually, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why miscarriage happens. So go easy on yourself, allow yourself to grieve, cry, eat ten bars of chocolate, drink gallons of wine, or do whatever you want. This is your baby, your loss, and it’s completely ok for you to deal with it in your own way.

Was it my fault?

When something is out of our control, it is normal to try and search for a reason as to why it might have happened. You’ve probably gone through your own personal list of options of what could have caused it. Maybe it was that flight you took? The sauna you went in. Or you put a curse on the pregnancy by buying a baby grow too soon. We can tell you now. It’s none of those. ‘It’s improbable that it was something you did or didn’t do. Some lifestyle choices can increase your chances of miscarriage, but it doesn’t mean that it was the cause’, says Tommy’s, The UK’s largest pregnancy and baby loss charity. Still think it’s because you had sex, the flu jab, or something completely different?

Tommy’s have helpfully answered all of the questions you might have here. Please read it. We guarantee it will make you feel better and help to settle your whirring mind.

If I’ve miscarried before, will it happen again?

Losing a baby is a traumatic experience, and it’s difficult to bypass those hurtful memories. Especially when you’re about to try and do the whole pregnancy thing again, it’s normal to be worried that you might lose another baby. After going through such a challenging time, it’s hard to feel confident that things will be ok. But while we’re not big fans of camping people together in a statistic, these stats might make you feel better, as a tiny 1% of couples are affected by reoccurring miscarriages, and 70% of women who have one or two miscarriages go on to have healthy babies. Most miscarriages are a one-off, and there’s a strong chance your subsequent pregnancy will be completely ok.

When is it safe to try again?

Make sure you’re ready. This is not about anyone else. Try not to put pressure on yourself by jumping back to normality. Your body and mind have gone through a lot, so check in with how you’re feeling and put yourself first. Once you feel good to go, chat things through with your partner and then speak to your doctor or midwife (if you haven’t already). And if you’re struggling with low feelings or anxiety, don’t hide away. Speak to someone close to you or mention it to your GP. If that feels too daunting, a faceless chat could be easier, and Tommy’s have a free helpline that you can call 0800 0147 800.

Can I do anything to lower my chances of miscarriage?

Have you been drinking copious amounts of alcohol, taking drugs and smoking? No? Oh, that’s surprising!
All jokes aside, having a baby is a big deal for a women’s body, so it’s always a good idea to get yourself in tip-top condition before starting each pregnancy. You’ll likely know the main misdemeanours (as midwives love to tell you!), but just in case, these are the basics rules to follow:

  1. (Try to) eat a balanced diet.
    Early stages of pregnancy? When you’re craving beige food, no one’s gonna blame you if you eat nothing but pizza and pasta. Just try to offset it with as much fruit and veg as possible. And if you can’t stomach it, check in with your GP to see if any nutritional supplements could help.
  2. Achieve a healthy weight
    Please don’t beat yourself up if you’re not the perfect BMI. Just try and cut down on the bad stuff as much as you can.
  3. Quit smoking.
    Ok, you need to do this.
  4. Cut out alcohol.
    The NHS say no, but other countries have varied opinions on alcohol consumption during pregnancy. So we’ll leave this one with responsible you.
  5. No illegal drugs.
    We hope this is just a given.
  6. Avoid infection
    i.e. flu – hence why they offer you a free jab when you’re pregnant.
  7. Swerve these foods.
    It seems like a long list, but it’s not that bad, except for maybe Prosciutto – sob.
Do you need treatment after a miscarriage?

Losing a baby is a shock, but nothing prepares you for how different each miscarriage can be. Just like birth, it’s not as simple as they make out in the movies. The common misconception that it’s like a heavy period that’s over in a flash makes us want to scream a million profanities. Yes, the baby can naturally pass out of your womb, but in other cases, it may need assistance, and this can be via medical methods (medicine) or surgery, and each process takes a varied amount of time. Your GP and midwife are best placed to give you consultancy on this, so always speak to them. You can read more on it here.

Does bleeding mean you’ve miscarried?

Please don’t panic if you’re in the early weeks and days of pregnancy and you’ve noticed spotting. Lots of women have light bleeding in their first trimester. Yes, it can be a sign of miscarriage, but it can also be a reason for several other things. So, take a big deep breath, try not to worry, and give your doctor or midwife a call.

I got a positive result and then a negative a few days later. Did I miscarry?

When you’re trying for a baby, ideally, you’d have a test as soon as you’ve jumped off. However, the only problem with early testing kits is that they can pick up on the pregnancy hormone HCG. False positives are extremely rare, so if you’ve tested positive and then negative, it’s much more likely that you’ve experienced a chemical pregnancy where the egg has been fertilised and has been unable to implant in the uterus, and this accounts for 75% of miscarriages. Most doctors still advise you to wait to test until the day of your period, ‘I mean, what’s the point in that?’, we hear you cry? But if you can fight the urge for a bit longer, it could avoid unnecessary stress or upset.

What does miscarriage actually mean?

Technically miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. Usually, the cause is down to chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, which can happen by chance. Some women miscarry without even knowing that they are pregnant. Usually, the signs are vaginal bleeding, cramps, and pain in your lower abdomen. But it is also possible for women to miscarry without any symptoms.

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