Pregnant after a miscarriage

Being pregnant after a miscarriage, how to deal with post-miscarriage emotions and looking to the future with your next pregnancy

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  • Being pregnant after a miscarriage

    Do you feel happy one minute and pure dread the next? Don't worry, it's completely normal to feel 
a roller coaster of emotions when you're expecting a baby again after having a miscarriage, and worrying for fear of history repeating itself.You’re not alone in feeling this way once you get pregnant again after having a miscarriage.

    “However you’re feeling, it’s important to cope with your emotions in a way that feels right for you,” says Barbara Hepworth-Jones, from The Miscarriage Association. “While one woman might want to talk openly about her feelings during her pregnancy, another may want to put the miscarriage behind her.” Whatever stage you’re at, here are six pieces of advice that will help.

  • Dealing with the past

    Although it may be hard to deal with the past when you're pregnant again after miscarrying a baby, try and treat this pregnancy as a new experience. “It’s natural to reflect on the past so thinking about the baby that could have been is inevitable,” says Barbara Hepworth-Jones, from The Miscarriage Association.

    You’ll probably (and understandably) feel anxious through most of your pregnancy but as you reach each milestone, like hearing the baby’s heartbeat or feeling him move, you’ll hopefully become a bit more reassured.

    Lots of women’s miscarriages aren’t explained but if you’ve been given a reason for your miscarriage, which has been resolved, try and focus on this to help you come to terms with the fact it’s very unlikely for miscarriage to happen again. “Some women find reading up on why they miscarried, or on miscarriage in general if they don’t know why, really helpful,” says Barbara.

    “You might also find it easier to heal if you acknowledge the stage at which you lost your last baby, as well as his future anniversaries, as opposed to pushing it to the back of your mind,” adds midwife Anne Richley.

  • Sharing your pregnancy for support

    Traditionally, most women wait until they’re 12 weeks pregnant to make an announcement, but consider whether you want to stick to this if you've previously.

    “It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation,” says midwife Anne Richley. “Waiting until 12 weeks means that the risk of a miscarriage is greatly reduced, but the flip side is if you share your news earlier you can get support early on if you need it.”

    Some women will want to wait until after the date they miscarried before telling others, but ultimately it’s up to you. Only share your news when you feel ready to and if you don't want to, here's how to make sure you keep the news of your pregnancy a secret.

  • Get as much support as possible

    You can arrange to see your midwife in between your normal appointments to help give you peace of mind when you're pregnant again after miscarrying, but you have to decide whether extra scans are beneficial.

    “Too many can make you more anxious, as a scan can only give you a snapshot of your baby on that day but it can’t tell you how he’ll be tomorrow or next week so you may end up wanting more and more,” says midwife Anne Richley.

    That said, some of you might find the odd extra scan helps to reassure, so have a think about what will put you most at ease. Here's a guide to the scans you'll have and when.

    Talking to others who’ve been through 
a similar situation may help too. Online forums (check out ours) are a good way to meet others who understand what you’re going through 
and The Miscarriage Association has a selection of downloadable leaflets packed with useful advice.

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  • Involve your partner

    It’s easy to forget how your partner is feeling when you are pregnant again after suffering a miscarriage, but remember he suffered a loss too. "So try and support each other,” says Barbara Hepworth-Jones. But bear in mind it could be hard for him to open up. “Some men worry that sharing their feelings with a pregnant partner could cause her even more distress,” she says. It could even be that he’s happier talking about it with someone else.

    “If you’re finding that one of you really wants to talk about the pregnancy, whereas the other just wants to get through it, acknowledge your differences before it turns into a bigger problem,” advises Barbara.
    “Ask your partner to come along to all your appointments and scans too,” adds Anne. “Especially if you’re finding it hard to revisit 
places that you associate with the previous miscarriage.” Here's how to get the dad-to-be involved in your pregnancy.

  • Take your new pregnancy one day at a time

    Although it’s easier said than done, mastering taking your pregnancy one day at a time when you've previously had a miscarriage will make things easier for you. “Try and focus on getting through the day without thinking too much about the long term until you’re ready,” says Barbara Hepworth-Jones.
    It’s best to start with individual days before looking ahead in weeks and months, and eventually the birth of your baby and beyond.

    “Be kind to yourself and accept that it’s fine not to feel happy all the time,” says Barbara. Some women will find that a good cry now and then relieves a lot of tension.

    Relaxation can help you get through on 
a day-by-day basis too. “For some women 
this could be talking to their unborn baby, for others it might be taking their mind off it with 
a nice bubble bath or a trip out somewhere,” adds Barbara. Focus your energy's on doing everything you can for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

  • Don't fear the worst

    It's difficult but when you're expecting a baby again after having a previous miscarriage, try not to fear the worst every day. If you do experience some bleeding or pain, try not to automatically panic. Get checked out to be on the safe side.
    “Your GP may refer you to an early pregnancy assessment unit,” says Barbara. “This is equipped to deal with early pregnancy problems quickly and efficiently, so rest assured that help is at hand if you need it.”

Last updated on 20 January 2011