For Those Women Who Experience Postpartum Depression But Have No Baby To Show For It Trying To Navigate Feelings Of Grief Guilt And Self
The commonality of miscarriage can downplay the psychological toll it can take. When doctors, family members, or friends dismiss miscarriages as something that just happens, it can reinforce ideas that people should simply get over it and try again or, if theyve suffered multiple miscarriages, to just stop trying to get pregnant altogether.
I dont think people know what to say, and they can come off as insensitive, Tara Anders, 24, who has had three miscarriages, tells HelloGiggles. I have been told by others to just stop trying, and as soon as you stop trying it will happen for you, and dont stress thats why you cant hold on to the pregnancy, or just adopt.
Loss Of Trust In Your Body
You may feel let down by your body or that it has played tricks on you, particularly if you had a missed miscarriage and had no symptoms. You might feel a strange disconnect between you and your body. You may feel this same lack of faith in your body in future pregnancies and resent the fact that youre unable to enjoy your pregnancy.
Dont forget that you will be affected physically, as well as emotionally. Your hormone levels are rapidly changing after a miscarriage, and mood swings and tears are normal. It may take a bit of time before your body feels normal again. The mind can affect the body and vice versa. Try to take care of your physical and emotional health as best you can.
The trouble with miscarriage is that most people dont understand what it is youve actually lost. Ive lost my babies. Ive lost the ability to be excited about pregnancy. Ive lost trust in my body, in hospitals and in statistics. Most of all Ive lost faith, in myself and in the future. Melissa’s story. Read more…
Can You Have Postpartum Depression After A Miscarriage
During the mourning period, emotions may be thrown into turmoil. If the expectant parent has been trying hard to conceive, they may mourn the child lost as well as the fact that they’re no longer pregnant. If they’ve suffered more than one miscarriage, they may be saddened by the fact that they have been unable to carry a pregnancy to term.
Some may develop a form of postpartum depression after miscarriage. Symptoms include intense sadness, emptiness, anger, irritability, fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, and jealousy of those who are pregnant. Postpartum depression is especially possible if these symptoms last for more than a few weeks. It can also affect individuals indiscriminately. People of all sexes and gender identities can struggled with postpartum depression.
If you’re having trouble dealing with these emotions, speak with your doctor, who can refer you to a counselor if necessary. Some cases of postpartum depression may need treatment with antidepressant medications, talk therapy, or behavioral methods like cognitive behavioral therapy.
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What Is Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can happen in the first few months after childbirth. It also can happen after miscarriage or stillbirth. It can make you feel very sad, hopeless, and worthless. You may have trouble caring for and bonding with your baby.
Postpartum depression is not the “baby blues,” which usually go away within a couple of weeks. The symptoms of postpartum depression can last for months.
In rare cases, a woman may have a severe form of depression called postpartum psychosis. This is an emergency because it can quickly get worse and put her or others in danger.
It’s very important to get treatment for depression. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you’ll feel better and enjoy your baby.
What Is Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression affects up to 15 percent of mothers after they have given birth and up to 9 percent of women during pregnancy. Depression can happen any time during pregnancy or up to a year after ppi is born. It can also occur after a miscarriage.
The symptoms of postnatal depression usually start within a first few months of the birth. You may not seem interested in your ppi or in other members of your whnau, or you may find it difficult to do everyday tasks.
Dads can also experience depression at this time, especially if their partner is depressed. Depression in new fathers is often not recognised and is not usually called ‘postnatal depression’.
The warning signs
Symptoms of postnatal depression are similar to depression at other times. They include feeling sad most of the time and losing interest in things that were once enjoyable. The symptoms might include:
- feeling worthless, hopeless, useless
- feeling so sad that eating and sleeping patterns change
- blaming yourself when things go wrong, even if it’s not your fault
- feeling anxious, panicky or overwhelmed especially regarding your ppi
- having thoughts of suicide that may include hurting your ppi
- not feeling close to your ppi and other whnau members.
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Can Ppd Affect My Baby
Yes, by affecting your mood and the ability to perform day-to-day activities, PPD can make it hard for you to care for your baby. If untreated, PPD can:Make you skip your postpartum checkup and not follow your doctors instructionsMake it hard for you to bond with your babyMake it difficult for you to breastfeed your childMake it hard for you to take care of your baby if they are sick or get them the medical attention they needPredispose your baby to several behavioral, learning, and developmental problems in addition to mental health issues later in life
What Are The Best Ways To Cope With Miscarriage
Grief and mourning can last anywhere from less than a month to a year or more, depending on the circumstances of the miscarriage. Initially, the feelings may be intense and all-encompassing. But over time, they may begin to ease up, giving way to periods of relative calm, well-being, and, eventually, acceptance.
Though there’s nothing you can do to “rush” the mourning process, there are simple ways you can take care of yourself as you heal.
Ask for help in breaking the news. If you’re feeling too fragile to talk about your miscarriage or to deal with other people’s reactions, ask a friend, relative, or coworker to tell others so you don’t have to discuss it.
Don’t take hurtful comments to heart. Many people don’t realize how profound a loss miscarriage is and may say things like “Don’t worry, you can always try again.” More often than not, though, people don’t mean to be insensitivethey’re just unaware of how you’re feeling and can’t fully comprehend your pain.
Help others understand. If you feel up to it, educate the important people in your life about pregnancy loss. Suggest, for instance, that they read a book on the subject, such as A Silent SorrowPregnancy Loss: Guidance and Support for You and Your Family by Ingrid Kohn, Perry-Lynn Moffitt, and Isabelle A. Wilkins .
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Life After Miscarriage: Can Women Experience Postpartum Depression After A Miscarriage
Finding out youre going to be a mother can be a blissful experience, a moment of celebration and joy. But, losing your pregnancy midway through can be equally devastating and emotionally distressing.
No woman can bear the loss of her unborn child. The physical and emotional turmoil she has to go through can take a heavy toll on her mental health as well.
Life after a miscarriage cannot look pretty and even if a woman doesnt experience the loss a second time, she still struggles with postpartum depression. Did you know that about 10-20% of pregnancies may end in miscarriage and the loss of the fetus? Most of the miscarriages often occur during the first three months of the pregnancy.
Miscarriages or more like the grief of losing an unborn baby arent understood or talked about. Pregnancy loss can cause women to experience depression and anxiety. Even if the miscarriage happens in the early stage, the woman can still experience the loss of her baby deeply.
Many women and healthcare professionals believe that once a healthy baby is born, the feelings of depression, sadness, and grief from the previous pregnancy loss will go away, however, thats not the case.
Lets take look at how depression after miscarriage may look like and how a woman can cope with her loss.
How Women And Men Grieve Differently:
Generally, women are more expressive about their loss and more likely to seek support from others. Men may be more action-oriented, tending to gather facts and problem solving, and therefore often do not choose to participate in support networks that consist of sharing feelings. This does not mean he is not grieving. Often men bury themselves in work when they are grieving.
Parents experience different levels of bonding with a baby. The bond between a pregnant woman and the baby growing inside her is unique. A woman can begin bonding from the moment she has a positive pregnancy test. Bonding for the father may start as he experiences physical signs of the baby, such as seeing an ultrasound picture or feeling the baby kick.
However, especially for men, real bonding may not develop until after the baby is born. This is why men may seem less affected when the loss of the baby occurs early in pregnancy. These differences may cause strain in your relationship as you try to come to terms with the loss.
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After A Miscarriage: Surviving Emotionally
First of all, we are so sorry that youve experienced a loss that has brought you to this page. We and so many women in similar situations all over the world grieve with you and want to remind you that no matter how you feel, the truth is that this is not your fault. Its important to take time after a miscarriage to heal not only physically but emotionally too.
Experiencing a pregnancy loss means that you are probably feeling more sadness than you ever thought possible. Having a miscarriage can be very difficult. The emotional impact usually takes longer to heal than physical recovery does. Allowing yourself to grieve the loss can help you come to accept it over time.
After Miscarriage I Was Rocked By Depression Like Many Other Women I Didnt Get Follow
The memory of our motionless baby boy on the ultrasound screen awakened me in the middle of the night. I squeezed my eyes shut repeatedly, but I couldnt escape the image. My body ached, my heart raced and tears streamed down my face until they led to uncontrollable sobs, eventually waking my husband. I cried until morning.
That was the first night after I miscarried at 12 weeks pregnant. Those early morning flashbacks lasted for weeks. After my miscarriage was handled medically, the effect on my mental health also needed attention. But no follow-up appointment was offered, and there was no acknowledgment of the intense emotions that rock many women who have miscarried.
As many as a quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the impact on womens mental health is well established. Yet, none of the medical staff I met with mentioned any potential emotional aftershocks.
Up to 55 percent of women who miscarry experience depressive symptoms shortly after. Up to 40 percent experience anxiety immediately following the miscarriage. Up to 15 percent reach the clinical threshold for a major depressive disorder in the months after the loss.
According to a study by Imperial College London, 45 percent of women reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder three months after their miscarriage. About 30 percent of these women reported that the symptoms affected their professional life about 40 percent, their relationships with family and friends.
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Understanding Your Healing Rights:
Healing doesnt mean forgetting or making memories insignificant. Healing means refocusing.You have the right to:
Helpful Websites and Books:
- Parents or other family members who have experienced the loss of a baby between conception and the first month of life can receive a free March of Dimes bereavement kit by contacting the Fulfillment Center at 1-800-367-6630 or at
- Other Helpful Websites:
If You Are Finding It Hard To Cope
Sometimes grief can be overwhelming. If you are struggling to cope with your feelings, you are not alone.
It is possible to develop mental health problems because of the grief caused by losing a baby. Depression and anxiety are common, but some women may develop other issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder .
“I struggled with anxiety and felt very low. In fact, I felt like I was losing my mind.”
Toni. Read her story…
Talk to your GP if you are worried about how you or someone else is feeling. There is support available and mental health problems are treatable.
You can also talk to a Tommys midwife free of charge from 9am5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 0147 800 or you can email them at
You can also join the Tommy’s Baby Loss Support Group on Facebook for those who have experienced any type of baby loss.
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How Do I Know If I Have Baby Blues Or Postpartum Depression
Many people have baby blues after giving birth. Baby blues and postpartum depression have similar symptoms. However, symptoms of baby blues last about 10 days and are less intense. With postpartum depression, the symptoms last weeks or months, and the symptoms are more severe.
You may have the baby blues if you:
- Have crying spells.
- Have trouble sleeping.
- Have sudden mood changes.
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to share your symptoms with your provider. They can assess if you need treatment for your symptoms.
After A Dilation Or Curettage A Miscarriage For Which You Had To Take Medication Or A Medical Termination Of A Pregnancy
- Mild cramping for a few days after the procedure
- Light bleeding for a few days after the procedure
The recovery timeline for later pregnancy losses are longer. Though it can be hard to think about, the physical process of a vaginal stillbirth is usually the same as for a vaginal live birth.
Its normal to have heavy bleeding, cramping, perineal discomfort, overall achiness and even breast engorgement in the days after going through labor.
The bleeding will typically taper off within six weeks, and you might experience occasional cramping for that long as your uterus shrinks back down to its normal size.
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How Long Can Post
These experts say that depression after a miscarriage can last anywhere from one to three years. Typically depression peaks between 3-6 months after the miscarriage, especially for women who seek treatment to manage the depression so that it doesnt persist for years. Khurana wishes there was more research on the duration of depression after miscarriage. Because the subject is largely taboo, she acknowledges these numbers are a loose estimate. The true amount of time is largely unknown as these women do not seek treatment. Prolonged or protracted depression can last years in the normal population and at worst, it can be lifelong. There is not a great deal of data available as it is hard for this population to seek treatment.
Signs Of Depression After Miscarriage
It is important to distinguish between grief and depression, says Acklin. Miscarriages are a loss, and grief is the normal human response. The tricky thing is that grief and depression share many of the same characteristics such as low mood, sadness, tearfulness, changes in sleep, and changes in appetite.
There are several clear signs of PPD and clinical depression after a miscarriage that are different from expected grief, though, says Dr. Gauri Khurana, a psychiatrist for the Womens Mental Health Consortium and Yale School of Medicine. Catatonia, which is not talking at all, is a very severe symptom of depression and requires urgent treatment, as does suicidality, says Khurana. Any thoughts of self-harm require immediate emergency care.
As weeks pass from the miscarriage, if these symptoms get worse instead of improve, that is a clear sign that intervention is needed.
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What Are The Emotional Effects Of Abortion
Though not necessarily true for all, for some people, terminating a pregnancy can be a stressful life event. In those cases, it is possible to experience a range of psychological and emotional responses.
Some individuals may feel relief at having made the right choice for them and taken action to resolve a difficult situation, while others may experience various negative emotions.
Any pregnancy loss will lead to an interruption in the hormone cycle. The negative feelings that occur after a planned termination may be at least due to hormonal changes, which are similar to those occurring after an unplanned pregnancy loss.
Common negative feelings include:
- loss of self-esteem or self-confidence
- feelings of isolation and loneliness
- sleep problems and nightmares
Can Abortion Cause Depression
Abortion is a controversial topic, making scientific research on the subject challenging.
Researchers cannot conduct randomized, double-blind studies on the psychological effects of abortion. Doing so would involve a random selection of people having abortions. Therefore, this type of research on the subject
For this reason, the only available research on the subject is observational.
With this in mind, a 2015 study showed that having an abortion does not necessarily predict the development of a mood disorder.
This does not mean that no individual who has an abortion can experience depression. Depending on their situation, a person may experience grief, stress, or a sense of loss and may feel less able to cope. These can progress to depression.
The American Psychological Association has identified some common reasons that having an abortion can lead to depression. They include:
- perceived stigma and lack of social support
- a history of mental health problems
- personality traits, such as low self-esteem
- features of the pregnancy, including whether the individual wanted it or not
However, another 2015 study also indicates that depression from having an abortion is not necessarily more severe than depression over having to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term.
Therefore, the researchers conclude that the policies stemming from the idea that abortion harms womens mental health may come from misinformed findings.
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