Miscarriage: Should You Wait to Conceive?

I had a miscarriage less than two months ago. I am still feeling incredibly sad and want to get pregnant as soon as possible to help take away the pain. Though my doctor has given the go-ahead, I'm wondering if it's a smart decision, from an emotional standpoint, to conceive shortly after a miscarriage.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Gayle Peterson

Gayle Peterson, PhD, is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She is a clinical member of the Association... Read more

Taking time to heal emotionally, as well as physically, after a miscarriage is a wise choice. Hormonal balance may be affected by your emotions, and waiting until you have recovered may also help you approach your next pregnancy with less anxiety.

Mourning for a miscarriage presents a unique challenge because others do not always fully understand the profoundness of your loss. Parents, especially mothers who miscarry, experience significant loss of the promise for what was to come. It is particularly difficult to grieve what is not yet here. But this is exactly what parents face, after miscarriage.

It is natural for you to experience a desire to replace what has been lost. Many women continue to experience grief for a pregnancy loss, even after they have had a subsequent child. Perhaps allowing this pregnancy to be special involves grieving and letting go, before welcoming another. Like seasons turning, there is healing that comes with time.

Consider the following suggestions to help your through this healing period:

1. Engage in an activity that soothes body and mind.
Yoga or some other form of mind-body exercise can calm your spirit and support your body's recovery. Use your breath to reach places that need healing and release emotions, while doing something good for yourself.

2. Visualize healing. Breath into your womb and visualize the inside cells of your womb healing, oxygen flowing into the tissues...go to the place where you held your child, and say "goodbye," if you wish. See the tissue healing, turning pink, soft and healthy. Eventually visualize your womb readying itself for another pregnancy. But only after several times of visualization, and when you feel ready to do so.

3. Talk with your partner. Some couples find a hidden treasure as they move through their grief together. A gift of discovering each other on a deeper level, more readiness for the responsibility of parenthood, or some other value to their shared journey may offer a silver lining and a deepening of the maturity so important in becoming parents together. Seek soothing from your partner by talking, crying together and creating a ritual to honor the passing away of your first pregnancy. Let go of the dream that was, as a part of the process of making room for the dreams to come.

4. Consider counseling. Consult with a counselor with expertise in pregnancy and birth to talk and explore further, if necessary. Address anything this loss might have surfaced for you or ways it may have negatively impacted your relationship with your partner.

5. Assure yourself that you will conceive again. Ease your pain and share concerns by talking with other moms who have experienced a similar loss.

6. Listen to your intuition. It is likely that there is something to be learned by taking your time to heal.

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