How to Cope with a Miscarriage – Our Decisions

There are potentially so many decision to make before, during and after a miscarriage that it can leave us wondering whether we have done the right thing.

The process of losing our babies is devastating, particularly when everything is geared toward new life, which instead turns into an unexpected death. Often the process of losing our baby has been long and intense, leaving us physically exhausted and emotionally vulnerable as we are confronted by the heartbreaking loss.

Effective decision-making is challenging when we are in an emotionally loaded situation. It seems unfair that during such an emotional time we are required to make a range of decisions that may positively or negatively impact upon our grieving process.

Second and third trimester pregnancy losses offer a number of options that we must consider, with very little knowledge or understanding about what they may mean to us when the clouds of immediate shock and grief have lifted. Often these decisions cannot be reversed so the pressure to make the ‘right’ decision about a situation we have never experienced (or even acknowledged) before is overwhelming.

Some of these decisions include whether to see the baby and hold the baby, whether to name the baby, take photos, make foot and handprints and whether to allow other family members to visit the baby after the birth. These decisions are easy for some and almost impossible for others. The sad reality is that some of these decisions are final; we can’t change our minds down the track.

Whether or not to spend time with the body of a newly born baby when the loss occurs by delivery is an extremely personal decision. For some, it is natural to want to spend time with their baby for a while after birth. There is usually no need to rush things, and this often allows the space to fully accept the death in a peaceful way.

Many people who have chosen to be with the baby for a period of time find it can help to give a sense of closure. There are others who feel strongly that they would prefer not to see the baby and do not want to have this image as their last memory. There is no right or wrong – this is such a personal decision.

The challenge we have is to have faith in the decisions we have made and trust that in time we can come to terms with our loss.

Take care


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