Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
Experiencing a miscarriage or pregnancy loss is difficult, but the possibility of another pregnancy can be even more difficult to deal with. If you are already pregnant again, you may worry that this pregnancy will end in the same way; and if you are thinking of getting pregnant again you may be holding back because you fear another loss. It is completely normal to feel this way. You and your partner's decision to try for another pregnancy is a deeply personal one, and you both may not feel the same way about it at the same time. While one of you may be ready to try again, the other may still be grieving too much or feel too anxious. It's important to respect each others feelings and work lovingly with each other to come to an agreement.
Medically speaking, it's usually safe to begin trying for another pregnancy as soon as a month or two after your loss. If you are at all concerned, speak with your doctor or midwife. Some professionals recommend waiting a few months to allow your body to recover and focus on your own health. If your miscarriage was caused by a health problem or is the result of a genetic condition, seeking the advice of a specialist may be your best option.
Easing Your Fears
Unless your loss is directly related to a specific health issue or genetic condition, you can put your fears of experiencing another miscarriage at ease. About 85% of women go on to have a successful pregnancy after one miscarriage and about 75% of women will have a successful pregnancy after two or three pregnancy losses. If your miscarriage was caused by a health issue you should consult with doctor who can help you manage your condition and increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. If your miscarriage was caused by a genetic condition or abnormality, you may feel better consulting with a geneticist.
Dealing With Feelings
Another pregnancy will not replace the loss of your miscarriage or make those feelings of grief go away. It may, however, help to occupy your mind with a new and joyous event. Beware of how a new pregnancy may or may not make you feel. It could make you feel more anxious or sad. Generally speaking, you can count on some depressing moments in your new pregnancy as you process feelings you may not have completely dealt with beforehand. Some feelings may even take you by surprise.
Some couples feel that they should deal with their grief before trying for another baby. Even if you take time to do this, you can still count on some emotions being stirred up by a new pregnancy. No matter how long it's been since your miscarriage, it's important to have a good support network of friends, family, and professionals during your pregnancy.
Be aware that it may take longer for you to accept your new pregnancy as healthy and normal. It may even take you a bit longer to bond with your baby, both before and after he or she is born, following a loss; this is okay, too. Your support persons should stay aware of how you are dealing with things and help where needed. Seek professional help if you are experiencing a complete lack of ability to bond with or accept your pregnancy or your baby.
Letting People Know
If you have experienced a prior miscarriage or loss you may tend to sway to one of two extremes when deciding when to let friends and family know about the new pregnancy. You may feel like telling some people very quickly about your pregnancy so that you will have plenty of support and people can come to accept your baby as “real” in case of another loss. On the other hand, you may feel like keeping your pregnancy a secret until you are a little more sure that you will not experience another miscarriage. Whenever and whomever you choose to inform of your new pregnancy is fine.
It is helpful to network with women who have experienced a pregnancy loss themselves. You can confide in them to share your feelings and frustrations, as well as your new found joys.