Anger and disbelief often accompany miscarriage. Once the shock and grief subside, women frequently struggle with anxiety, depression, and marital issues.
Most families need to grieve a loss to move on. But some women, especially when their loss was early, don’t feel entitled to grieve. Whether it’s the lack of tangible memory, the frequent self blame, or the inadequacy of emotional support, many women feel pressure to get back to normal before they’re ready.
Families need to know that it’s okay to grieve after miscarriage, and perhaps even beneficial. Women who suppress grief are more likely to suffer longer lasting consequences.
Over twenty studies have linked anxiety and miscarriage, reporting that women who miscarry suffer elevated anxiety immediately after the loss. Their anxiety generally takes a year to fully remit. Women feel tense, irritable, fatigued, unable to concentrate or sleep, and report muscle tension.8
Couples often believe that the woes of miscarriage will be eased by another pregnancy. For many couples, this is true. But after loss, women battle fear and anxiety during subsequent pregnancies that makes each month tortuous.
Men and women often respond differently to miscarriage. When losses are early, men are less likely to suffer the anxiety and depression that is more common for their partner. They care about their partner’s well-being, but sometimes struggle to be supportive about consequences they don’t fully experience.12 This vastly different mark that miscarriage often leaves on men and woman can lead to greater emotional consequences for women, and harsh consequences for the marriage.
One study showed that a year after loss, 32% of women felt more distant from their partner, and 39% said their sexual relationship has suffered.13 Couples sometimes struggle to close the emotional gap that miscarriage creates when two people experience loss so differently