Miscarriage and Perinatal Loss
One in every four recognized pregnancies ends in miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy. However, because miscarriages often occur early in pregnancy, before couples have had a chance to tell family and friends, it can be one of the least talked about losses experienced by both men and women in today's society. When someone chooses to share their struggle with miscarriage, it is often met with a mixture of awkward and uncomfortable responses including expectations to "move on" and "just keep trying."
It is common for women in particular to wonder "what did I do wrong?" and to struggle with self-blame and doubt, despite the overwhelming evidence that there is absolutely nothing a woman or a doctor can do to prevent miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death in the vast majority of cases. There are also many instances where couples face heart-breaking decisions about whether to terminate a pregnancy due to fetal abnormalities, unplanned pregnancy, and major pregnancy complications.
The gut-wrenching pain and loss experienced after a miscarriage is very real and can be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, depression, and even numbness. It can be frightening to think of attempting to conceive again after perinatal loss and subsequent pregnancies can be wrought with fear and anxiety. For the vast majority, there is hope after miscarriage, and even multiple miscarriages. Counseling can help one to accept and process the emotions associated with miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal loss, work through grief and loss, learn coping skills and adopt self-care practices, and effectively manage anxiety surrounding the future.