Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
UI Maternity Care
Miscarriage - Support Options
MISCARRIAGE - Understanding Grief Support Group Information
The Touching Hearts Program
Although miscarriage is the most common type of failed pregnancy, the grief associated with it is probably the least understood.
Your loss was unique to you. Do not expect to feel comforted by knowing many miscarriages happen. This was your baby....your hopes....your dreams.
Feelings you may have:
Many factors influence how you will feel about the loss of a pregnancy: Whether or not the pregnancy was desired; if you have had other children; the length of time you have been trying to conceive; and whether or not you have lost earlier pregnancies. It is as normal not to grieve as it is to be devastated. Talking about the experience helps to make it more real.
No two people will ever feel the same, but each person's feelings need to be expressed and understood as much as possible. You and your partner will find it helpful to talk and listen to each other. Talking will help prevent rather than pulling apart into separate kinds of grieving.
Men, too, feel many intense emotions when their partner's miscarry. They may have more difficulty expressing their emotions because of society's attitude that equates crying with weakness.
For some expectant fathers, concern for their partner's physical and emotional well-being outweighs feelings of grief. Some men also feel responsible for causing the pain because of their role in the conception. Men need to tell their partner how they feel; doing so will reassure their partner that they also feel the loss of this pregnancy.
Normal grieving with miscarriage has many ups and downs, and may last longer than society generally recognizes. It is not only acceptable to grieve, but often grieving must take place before healing can occur. Be patient with yourselves. Learn to let others know how you feel, and how you are working out your grief, so that they can be supportive to you.
When considering another pregnancy, give yourselves sufficient time to mourn and recover your physical and emotional strength. For couples who have had recurrent pregnancy losses, it is important to have realistic expectations about your future pregnancies. Each couple must decide for themselves how much they can handle. Is there a cause, and can it be treated? Can you cope with another pregnancy, and perhaps another disappointment? Can you face giving up? Together, only you can make these decisions. Just remember...feelings are not right or wrong, they just are.
There are support groups available to couples who have suffered pregnancy loss. In addition to meeting with people, they also offer a wide variety of resources to help you through the grieving process.
Below are listed addresses for nationally recognized support groups. These offices can direct you to a local chapter near your home. We hope this information will help you during this difficult time.
The Compassionate Friends, Incorporated
P. O. Box 3696
Oak Brook, Illinois 60522-3696
Toll Free: 887-969-0010 or
National SHARE Office
St. Joseph Health Center
300 First Capitol Drive
St. Charles, MO 63301-2893
Toll Free: 800-821-6819
Peer Review Status: Internally
Peer Review Date: 2004