Miscarriage causes emotional havoc for women. Although it’s not the same as an inability to conceive, its outcome is the same – no baby. It leaves women flummoxed, and its emotional effect can be devastated.
Yet at the same time, miscarriages are incredibly common. Roughly half of all eggs that are fertilised never continue to implant – although a woman, in this instance, may not know she has miscarried. More than 25 cent of women miscarry in the first trimester – that is one in four. And approximately one in 200 couples will experience two more consecutive miscarriages. It’s not surprising that many of us know a woman who has miscarried if we haven’t done so ourselves.
I witness the pain miscarriage causes every day, and I always think of pregnancy as a 1000 piece puzzle but for many who miscarry just a few pieces of the jigsaw are missing. In the past few years, we have gained greater understanding of the causes of miscarriage – which include genetic causes, hormonal causes and infection as well as lifestyle factors such as age, smoking and heavy drinking – and improved understanding of the role men’s health plays too.
It comes back to what I often say, which is that it is important to consider both members of a couple rather than just a woman especially in determining the causes of miscarriage. It’s natural to grieve after a miscarriage, and without doubt all women who miscarry lose a certain confidence in their bodies to be able to hold onto a baby. One woman said to me that she feels like she is waiting for bad news.
BUT there comes a point where you have to take steps and be proactive to try and conceive again.
Here are my 3 top tips for overcoming miscarriage.
1. Don’t blame
Every day women tell me they have miscarried because they are too stressed, or drank a cup of coffee. The 1000 piece pregnancy puzzle I talk about is far more complicated. There isn’t likely to be one single thing you have done that caused the miscarriage so don’t beat yourself up. Hypnotherapy can be very effective at counteracting the sort of complex negative and guilty feelings that miscarriage can provoke and enable people to reach deep levels of relaxation and manage stress.
2. Work on your headspace
Counselling, therapy and the right support is also helpful. Don’t bottle up your feelings, you might need additional support to come through this difficult time.
3. Check your nutritional status
Improving nutrition pays dividends when helping improve the quality of a man’s sperm, and also the production and balance of female hormones. Good nutrition also creates a better internal environment in which a growing pregnancy can thrive. I particularly recommend taking magnesium, selenium and a good pre-natal multivitamin (check our shop for our full range of preconception supplements)
Remember, miscarriage does not mean you will never have a baby. Even in the case of recurrent miscarriage, the more in-depth testing and work we do at the clinic can and does often find the problem. The most important thing is to keep trying.