Postpartum Depression After Miscarriage.
The loss of your baby from a miscarriage can be profoundly painful and isolating.
The avalanche of emotions and sudden turns in expectation you’ve had to accept, can feel like too much to endure, explain, or expect anyone else to understand.
It seems that much more cruel to have to endure postpartum depression after miscarriage when your arms are empty.
But many women do.
Your loss is real. And so is your grief.
And all of it can lead to the saddest place you’ve ever been.
According to to Postpartum Support International, symptoms of postpartum depression include:
• deep, unshakeable sadness, moodiness, anxiety
• difficulty concentrating or focusing
• lack of energy, exhaustion
• exaggerated irritability, anger, or frustration
• feelings of inadequacy
• helplessness or hopelessness
• lack of sexual interest or obsession with getting pregnant again
• exaggerated highs or lows
• disrupted sleep
• disordered eating
• suicidal thoughts
1. Call a professional. Now.
The enormous grief you experience with postpartum depression after miscarriage is unlikely to fade away on its own. Any energy you have must be devoted to reaching out to someone with the expertise to see you through this.
A therapist can help you deal with the trauma of miscarriage, past trauma, relationship strife, or other stressors that might complicate your recovery. Studies show that supportive counseling within the first year following miscarriage helps significantly decrease depression, anxiety and anger.
2. Lean on a reliable, non-judgmental support system.
Support groups offer an immediate and routine way to cope, connect, and receive encouragement from a compassionate community. Local support groups are available through hospitals and community centers. Online resources that encourage connection through digital postings, Facebook pages, and even one-on-one live chats, can provide round-the-clock support.
3. Pay attention to your body.
Depending on how far your pregnancy had progressed at the time of your miscarriage, you may be experiencing physical responses that continue to pull your thoughts back to all you have lost. Soothe your body with rest, warm baths, long walks, and nourishing food.
Engage in more strenuous exercise and sexual activity only when you’re physically and emotionally ready.
Consider giving yourself enough time to work with a counselor before putting your mind and body through the rigors of another pregnancy.
4. Consider medication.
Research indicates that clinical depression increases significantly in women who suffer a miscarriage compared to those who have never been pregnant. The risk of emotional, mental, and physical upheaval is especially high during the postpartum period.
While everyones’experience and situation is unique, some women decide that this may be the appropriate time and place to consider the benefits of antidepressants to help you cope.
Talk to your therapist and physician, get a clear idea of the pros and cons, but don’t rule out meds before carefully weighing the option. Many women find that temporary use of antidepressants can help stabilize their emotions enough to think more clearly to effectively work through their grief.
5. Honor your child, your journey, and your need to heal.
Miscarriage can deteriorate into depression for many women because the whole experience often feels so invisible. So much happens inside.
The pregnancy happened inside you. The loss happened inside you. The baby isn’t here now.
People in your life may seem to want to brush it away or encourage you to “move forward.”
You may find that your experience needs to be marked and your child remembered.
Depression may have less hold on you if you can acknowledge the sadness and give yourself a container for it.
Have a memorial for your child. Invite your partner and people who understand to share your grief, write a letter, plant a tree.
Give yourself permission to say goodbye to someone who was here and well-loved.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed with your grief and loss, reach out. Together we can work through your pain, honor your loss, and allow you to start living again. It can be done.