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If you were rejoicing over a positive pregnancy test just weeks or months ago, coping with a sudden and unexpected miscarriage can be difficult. Even though you never saw your baby (except, perhaps, on ultrasound), you knew that they were growing inside of you and you may have even formed a bond. You may have daydreamed about your baby and imagined yourself as a mother and all the experiences you would share together as they grow. And then, all the excitement of months (and years, and decades) came abruptly to a stop.
Understandably, you may feel a range of emotions: sad and disheartened over the loss; angry and resentful it happened to you; possibly withdrawn from friends and family (especially those who are pregnant or just had babies). You may have trouble eating and sleeping at first and accepting the finality of it all. You may cry a lot, or you may not cry at all. These are all among the many natural, healthy responses to a pregnancy loss. (Remember: your reaction is what’s normal for you.)
WHAT IS A MISCARRIAGE?
Miscarriage is defined when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks (NJ) or 16 weeks (PA) of pregnancy. While we don’t know all the causes of miscarriage, more often problems with chromosomes in genes cause most. It can take a few weeks to a month or more for your body to recover from a miscarriage. It may take longer to recover emotionally. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage in the second trimester (between 13 and 19 weeks) happens in 1 to 5 in 100 (1 to 5 percent) pregnancies.
As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. We don’t know the exact number because a miscarriage may happen before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy later.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms of miscarriage include:
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Your Doctor may want to perform some tests to make ensure everything is OK. Tests can include blood tests, a pelvic exam and an ultrasound. Many women have these signs and symptoms in early pregnancy and don’t miscarry.
There are also several different types of miscarriage a woman can experience, including:
TREATMENT FOR MISCARRIAGE
If you’ve had a miscarriage, your provider may recommend:
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT, RECOMMENDED READING & WEBSITES
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Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director