It is completely natural not to want to try to conceive again for quite a while (though doing so is absolutely safe, studies show), and it's also normal to experience extreme worry for your new pregnancy if you do conceive again.
What do the facts tell us about miscarriage?
Miscarriage is extremely common. Twenty percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, usually within the first trimester. The figure may be closer to 50 percent if you include very early miscarriages that took place right around the time your period was due. One in four women has had a miscarriage.
Research shows that it is absolutely safe to try to conceive again within six months of a miscarriage, and that your chances of having a health pregnancy are actually higher than normal if you become pregnant again within this time frame. Though doctors in many countries still advise women to wait two to three cycles before trying again, it is actually safe to try again after you experience one post-miscarriage period so, that doesn't include the bleeding caused by the miscarriage itself.
Many miscarriages happen because of some chromosomal difficulty within the fetus, and it is highly unlikely that you have done something to cause your miscarriage. Sadly, miscarriages are simply a normal part of the reproductive process. There is no rational reason to be scared that you will miscarry again after one miscarriage, though some women suffer from recurrent miscarriages for certain medical reasons (if you have two miscarriages, talk to your doctor about testing though this often isn't performed until a woman has had three miscarriages). For most women, the odds of having a healthy pregnancy following miscarriage are very good indeed. But well, that doesn't stop you from being fearful, heartbroken, and reluctant to try again.
Emotions after miscarriage
You may feel:
- Scared to try to become pregnant again
- Extremely worried that you will suffer another miscarriage once you do become pregnant again, either just during the first trimester of throughout your pregnancy
- That your body is broken and there is something wrong with you
- That you are not allowed to go through a full grief process because miscarriage is invisible to many people around you however give yourself time to heal
I had several miscarriages myself. One thing I want to point out is that it is entirely possible to grieve for your lost baby while also trying to conceive again. If you do become pregnant, that pregnancy will not wipe out your loss, or make you forget about the baby you lost. A new pregnancy is not a "replacement pregnancy", just a part of life. So, it is good to disconnect feelings about a new baby from feelings about your miscarriage.
When you do become pregnant again, it's so normal to feel worried that it's almost universal among women who miscarried before. Do not try to shove these feelings under the carpet, and instead share them with your partner while you are trying to conceive again, and during the pregnancy as well. Tell your healthcare provider that you are terribly anxious about miscarriage. In many cases, they will be able to give you extra ultrasounds so you can see the baby's heartbeat.
This can be very reassuring. At the end of the day, there are only two possibilities with a new pregnancy you will either stay pregnant and have a baby, or have a miscarriage. If you do not become pregnant, you will not miscarry but you will not have a baby either. The risk of heartbreak is definitely worth it. I nearly did not try to get pregnant again, and I ended up with a second child when we took the plunge anyway. He has been a true blessing for us and his big sister. The key is probably to take things one step at a time, and to enjoy your pregnancy. Allow yourself to assume you will not miscarry.
However, if you are severely depressed about your miscarriage to the extent that you can't enjoy life much at all, it's time for some therapy. Even a few sessions will help you work through your feelings in most cases. In the meantime, you can create a meaningful memorial for your lost baby, to acknowledge that he or she will indeed be part of your family forever, whatever happens. It can be a piece of jewelry that you can always carry with your, an ultrasound picture if you have one, or something in the house like a painting or other decoration.