Though miscarriage is a common occurrence (one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage) few people understand the significant impact it can have on a woman’s emotional health. Nearly half of women who lose a pregnancy to miscarriage experience difficulties with family relationships afterward and worry about how they will return to a normal life. And the majority experience anxiety during subsequent pregnancies. For women who suffer recurrent miscarriages, one-third will suffer from clinical depression.
Stillbirth, though far less common than miscarriage, happens in 1 in 160 pregnancies in the United States. In one study, nearly 30% of bereaved mothers considered suicide after their babies were stillborn and 13% used substances (such as drugs or alcohol) to cope with the pain of their loss. One-quarter of women whose children are stillborn blame themselves for their loss.
Both stillbirth and miscarriage are profound losses that are rarely talked about and little understood. So, the families that experience them often feel isolated in their grief and unsure of how to cope. With appropriate support for the grief and anxiety you are feeling, you can move forward with greater strength and understanding of your experience. You are not alone.