Life After Miscarriage: Can Women Experience Postpartum Depression After A Miscarriage?
Finding out you’re going to be a mother can be a blissful experience, a moment of celebration and joy. But, losing your pregnancy midway through can be equally devastating and emotionally distressing.
No woman can bear the loss of her unborn child. The physical and emotional turmoil she has to go through can take a heavy toll on her mental health as well.
Life after a miscarriage cannot look pretty and even if a woman doesn’t experience the loss a second time, she still struggles with postpartum depression. Did you know that about 10-20% of pregnancies may end in miscarriage and the loss of the fetus? Most of the miscarriages often occur during the first three months of the pregnancy.
Miscarriages or more like the grief of losing an unborn (or stillborn) baby aren’t understood or talked about. Pregnancy loss can cause women to experience depression and anxiety. Even if the miscarriage happens in the early stage, the woman can still experience the loss of her baby deeply.
Many women and healthcare professionals believe that once a healthy baby is born, the feelings of depression, sadness, and grief from the previous pregnancy loss will go away, however, that’s not the case.
Let’s take look at how depression after miscarriage may look like and how a woman can cope with her loss.
Symptoms Of Depression After Miscarriage
Sadness, grief, helplessness are common feelings after miscarriage. In the majority of cases, these feelings turn into depression. Depression is a mental health disorder that can cause constant sorrow, worthlessness, and extreme sadness. Depression can also make you lose interest in things you once enjoyed doing.
Some of the common red flags of depression after a miscarriage can look like:
- Feeling empty or hopeless
- Feeling irritable
- Experiencing anhedonia
- Feeling lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
- Feelings anxious
- Feelings of guilt
- Experiencing trouble remembering or making decisions
- Experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Experiencing random body aches
Depression after a miscarriage can be severe and can linger up to three years even after a healthy and successful pregnancy. Depression after miscarriage is not only experienced by women but is experienced by men as well. However, men can recover from postpartum depression faster than women after a pregnancy loss.
Can You Have Postpartum Depression After A Miscarriage?
Postpartum depression after a healthy and successful pregnancy is common but when a couple loses their unborn child to miscarriage, the state of emotions can be disturbing. This period of loss and grief can cause severe emotional and mental distress. If a woman suffers more than one miscarriage, then she may experience a severe state of emotional distress over not being able to carry a pregnancy.
Many women develop postpartum depression after a miscarriage and the symptoms can include extreme sadness, feelings of emptiness, fatigue, guilt, helplessness, and even envy towards other healthy pregnant women.
Postpartum depression after a miscarriage can happen if the symptoms of depression as listed above lasts for more than a few months.
If you or your partner is struggling with these emotions, you can consult with your OB/GYN or ask them to refer you to a therapist. In many cases of severe postpartum depression after a miscarriage treatment such as medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both might be needed.
Coping With Depression After Miscarriage
As someone who’s never experienced a miscarriage, I can’t imagine the emotional turmoil, the mental distress, and the pain a woman may go through but as a woman, I can imagine the pain of losing a pregnancy cannot be less devastating and emotionally taxing.
Recovering from a pregnancy loss, especially when it’s a loss by miscarriage can be long and challenging. When we talk about depression after a miscarriage, the couple may need to go through treatment, together.
Some of the common treatment options to help with depression after a pregnancy loss can include:
- Psychotherapy: To help the couple work through their emotions and build effective and healthy coping skills.
- Medications: Antidepressant medications may also be needed to help the couple deal with the symptoms of severe depression.
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): ECT is needed when medications and psychotherapy fail to provide relief from symptoms of depression.
If you’re struggling with postpartum depression after a miscarriage and are undergoing treatment, then make sure you follow through and stick with your plan, are maintaining a healthy diet, are getting enough sleep, and are keeping your energy levels up.
For couples, it’s important to stick together and understand each other’s emotions when you’re coping with postpartum depression or depression after a miscarriage.
Keep in mind that women and men deal with grief differently so be respectful of your partner’s emotions and feelings. You’re not alone in your loss, after all. Couples going through depression after miscarriage must keep communication with each other healthy and open, share, and express their emotions with the other regularly.
If you and your partner have struggled with more than one miscarriage before, then you should discuss your feelings and plan for your future together. Do you want to try again or are you comfortable considering adoption?
If you need additional support, you can always reach out to support groups for couples or individuals struggling with depression after miscarriage or groups for postpartum depression. Remember, you’re not alone in your loss and struggles afterward. Help is always available.
There’s no wrong or right answer to these questions. Maybe life after miscarriage is devastating and challenging but there’s always hope. Depression after miscarriage is not easy to cope and recover from but the right professional help and support from your loved ones, especially your partner can make coping with the loss bearable.
I hope this article was able to help you understand depression after miscarriage and how to cope with depression after pregnancy loss. You can share your thoughts and stories with us by writing to us at email@example.com or by dropping us a message on our social media.
You are NOT alone!
Lots of love and hugs to you.