Miscarriages & Counselling: Can Miscarriage Counselling Help Me Heal?
If you find yourself here, I first want to say – I am so sorry for your loss.
I know that sounds cliché. I don’t say this from a place of detached pity; I offer this condolence from a place of lived experience, a place where I, too, have experienced the terrible pain and devastation that comes from losing your baby. It’s a club that nobody ever hopes to be a part of. I see you, I see your pain, and I want you to know that it truly matters to me.
What is miscarriage?
Miscarriage (also called early pregnancy loss) is the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. For women who have found out about their pregnancy, it’s estimated that approximately 10-20 out of 100 pregnancies will end in miscarriage (rates may be higher if we could include those pregnancies that end before they are known). The majority of miscarriages (about 80%) happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester). These are known as an early miscarriage. Miscarriages that happen during the second trimester of pregnancy (between 12 and 19 weeks) are called later term miscarriages and occur in about 1-5 out of 100 pregnancies (1-5%). The loss of a pregnancy after 20 weeks is known as a stillbirth.
What causes a miscarriage?
You may never find out what the definitive cause of your miscarriage was. Generally speaking, miscarriages may be caused by:
– chromosomal and genetic abnormalities;
– uterine anomalies;
– hormonal imbalances, including thyroid disease and diabetes;
– blood clotting disorders.
A small number of women may experience recurrent miscarriages. When this is the case, your doctor may offer a number of tests, including but not limited to physical evaluations of the uterus, sperm quality assessments, genetic testing, and blood panels.
It is important to remember that, generally speaking, environmental factors and stress are not thought to cause miscarriage. Experiencing a singular or recurrent miscarriage is not your fault.
What is Miscarriage Counselling?
How you feel about your miscarriage will depend on your own unique circumstances, your (and your partner’s) experience of this loss, your personal history with grief and trauma (including any prior pregnancy losses and experiences with infertility), and how you felt about the pregnancy. Factors like poor emotional support, traumatic medical procedures that took place alongside the loss, and hormonal fluctuations may make things feel even harder.
Miscarriage counselling may a helpful option for you if you are experiencing a pregnancy loss and are having a difficult time coping. At Sage Mental Health, we are a team of therapists who have a special focus and advanced training in supporting people experiencing a miscarriage.
Some of the ways that miscarriage counselling can benefit you are:
– Finding out what is “normal” with grief after miscarriage;
– Receiving genuine, compassionate emotional support through your loss;
– Having a safe space to feel and say whatever you want;
– Learning tools and strategies to cope with the many emotions that often follow a miscarriage;
– Accessing couples’ counselling to move through this process together and learn about different grieving styles;
– Getting support on ways to remember and commemorate your baby;
– Getting support with practical planning and problem-solving around such concerns as:
- how to share your devastating news with loved ones, friends, and work colleagues;
- how to navigate the return-to-work process after your miscarriage;
- how to navigate painful and sensitive conversations with others;
- how to set and maintain boundaries around painful events and anniversaries (e.g. others’ baby showers; coping on the anniversary of your loss);
- how to navigate the fertility process after your loss;
- how to look after yourself during this difficult time.
– Managing the fear and anxiety that may follow in a subsequent pregnancy after your miscarriage.
Miscarriage Counselling In BC and Across Canada
Our team at Sage Mental Health has advanced training and experience in supporting clients through the devastating loss of miscarriage. We offer online and telephone counselling support to clients across BC and Ontario, and in certain provinces where counselling therapy is unregulated (currently, this is the case in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, North-West Territories, Nunavut and Newfoundland, and clients from these regions are welcome to inquire). We are also able to offer in-person miscarriage counselling support at our in-person office location in the Fraser Valley, BC.
If you’re experiencing a miscarriage and are wondering if miscarriage counselling may be right for you, please consider reaching out for a free, confidential consultation with one of our reproductive mental health therapists:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (604) 785-9511