You most likely know someone who has experienced a miscarriage. Even if they haven’t shared their loss, chances are you’re friends with at least one person who has gone through this. Or you yourself have experienced a devastating loss. It’s hard to know what to do or say to help. Each person deals with tragedy differently, and you’ll have to use your judgement to determine the best way to offer assistance.
There aren’t many scarier experiences in a woman’s life than when she is thinking she may be having a miscarriage. Statistics tell us that around 50% of pregnancies do end in miscarriages, but most of those women have no idea they were even pregnant in the first place. The majority of miscarriages happen in the first two weeks after conception, and the woman thinks she is just having a slightly heavier menstrual cycle than normal. However, when miscarriage happens further along in the pregnancy it can be truly devastating, especially to those parents who have planned and perhaps waited for years for their baby. Many women will ask – how can I tell if I have miscarried?
Although some miscarriages are linked to chromosomal abnormalities, sperm antibodies, blood clotting disorders and anti-nuclear antibodies, 50 % of miscarriages are due to an unknown cause. Our chronic life stresses, ie. traffic, bosses, finances, will limit non-essential bodily functions, one of which is reproduction. Stress releases cortisol hormones which in turn suppresses progesterone. Progesterone is essential to maintain the uterine lining and the pregnancy. The question many pregnant moms ask is – can stress cause miscarriages?
Despite the fact that one third of first trimesters will end in miscarriage, it is a topic that stops us in our tracks. When dealing with grief after pregnancy loss, physically and emotionally, a woman and her partner need support and love through this difficult time. In Canada, we are blessed to have a number of services available to us to assist in coping, recovering and assessing our options. Griefworks says that “after the loss of a baby, there may be no satisfying answers. There may have been genetic, fetal, or external factors beyond anyone’s control – yours or your doctor’s.
Q – I just discovered I’m pregnant and I’m thrilled. I am about 5 weeks pregnant and this morning when I went to the bathroom I found a few tiny spots of blood. What does this mean? Am I still pregnant? Is something wrong?
Q – I just had a very early miscarriage 1 week ago and am wondering if it is safe to keep trying to get pregnant or if I should wait a bit. I have read a couple of different things and am a bit confused.