Coping With the Pain of a Miscarriage

By Teske Drake
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From seeking support to grieving freely, here are some suggestions for dealing with the feelings of heartbreak and loss associated with a miscarriage.

Whatever the situation behind your pregnancy, you can rest in the assurance of God’s unconditional love for you and for your baby lost through miscarriage. Psalm 139 tells of God’s intimate knowledge of each and every one of us, with verse 16 affirming that He knows the number of our days, before even one of them begins.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:16, NLT)

Suggestions for Coping:

  • Share Your Story. Talk to your spouse or a trusted friend or family member or even a counselor about your loss experience. Keep a journal to record your story and feeling associated with the loss.
  • Grieve Freely. And give yourself permission to do so. This may include setting up some personal boundaries with family and friends as a way of protecting yourself from people and situations that are difficult for a time (e.g., baby showers, people who tend to be insensitive, baby dedications or christenings).
  • Accept Help. While boundaries may be necessary, it is also important to let family and friends know how they can help support you. They may not take the initiative or know what would be helpful, so be sure to clearly express your needs and be open and willing to receive their support.
  • Seek Support. Consider joining a local or online support group (see Online Support Resources at the end of this series) as you navigate the grief associated with your loss.
  • Turn Toward, Not Away. Navigating miscarriage grief as a couple can be difficult as each partner tends to express their grief differently. It is important to keep the communication lines open and turn toward each other during this time. Recognizing this difference and choosing to respond to one another with compassion and grace will help as you each grieve in your own unique way.
  • Create Mementos. Part of what makes miscarriage so difficult is the absence of memories and tangible keepsakes. Create or purchase these items as a way of honoring your child who died. Some ideas include ornaments at Christmastime, a special blanket, or a necklace or other piece of jewelry by which to remember. Create a memory box — which might include your positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound image, your personal thoughts, a poem or drawing — and designate a special place in your home to house these items. Share these items with family and friends as you feel led, which will help them to see that your child was a real baby, was valued, and is loved.
  • Honor your Child. You can do so by naming your baby or doing something to honor your baby on the due date or other special days. Examples include lighting a candle, releasing a balloon, or making a donation to a related cause in your child’s memory.
  • Share with Your Other Children. It is normal to struggle with the daily activities of parenting after miscarriage. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from grandparents, relatives, or friends. You may wonder how or what to tell your child(ren) after miscarriage occurs. Consider their age and maturity level, then share openly and honestly what you are comfortable in a way that conveys the facts and your feelings. Sharing the story with your child(ren) will teach them about the value and preciousness of every life.
  • Seek Spiritual Comfort. Approach God in prayer. Share your feeling and seek solace in Him. Rad Bible verses that provide comfort and encouragement to you in times of grief, such as Isaiah 49:15: Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. (NASB)

If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional Christian counselors available to talk with you at no charge. Just call 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)

© 2014 Teske Drake. Used with permission.

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About the Author

Teske Drake

Teske Drake co-founded and serves as President of Mommies with Hope, a biblically-based, non-profit support group ministry for women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Teske and her husband, Justin, reside in central Iowa; they have two children.

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