Common questions that may arise when you are experiencing a miscarriage.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM HAVING A MISCARRIAGE?
When you call your midwife or O.B they will have a list of questions to help them understand what is happening with your pregnancy.
It is important to write down when your symptoms started. Symptoms such as cramping, bleeding (the color and how light/heavy), and how long these symptoms lasted.
Some bleeding can be normal during pregnancy, such as implantation bleeding which would take place between 7-10 days , you can also have cervical bleeding from polyps, intercourse, as well as breakthrough bleeding around the time you would normally be menstruating.
HOW LONG TO EXPECT TO BLEED?
The heaviest bleeding takes place during the first few days but should lighten up a bit each day after. Although you can bleed up to two weeks similar to a moderate period. You can bleed anywhere from 6-8 weeks.
If you experience any signs of excessive blood loss such as soaking 2 heavy full-sized pads in 30 minutes or less, dizziness, light-headedness, fever over 101, weakness, fainting, hypotension, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath or pallor seek emergency care immediately.
SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE IN PAIN?
The body will go into labor to deliver the baby and placenta from the uterus. If it is very early, the cramps and bleeding may be very minor and resemble a period. If the baby was closer to 8 weeks and beyond, the intensity normally increases. At this point, the process can resemble birth-pains that usually develop a pattern that gets closer together until the miscarriage begins. Loose bowel movements can also be a part of this process. This process normally lasts 5-6 hours but can vary per person. The loss is usually a series of clots coming out, as the process progresses the clots slow down and get smaller.
WHAT MEDICINE CAN I TAKE FOR THE PAIN?
The Peaceful Womb Tincture from Tourmaline Collective has some of the best herbs to help with cramping, pain, and blood loss.
Use the womb warmer from the box for loss, a heating pad or hot water bottle to help with cramping.
Ibuprofen is an appropriate over the counter option to help relieve pain
BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT BLOOD LOSS?
The most important thing you can do is to make sure you are eating a well balanced, high clean protein diet. Pregnant people need 80-100 grams of protein and that would apply to someone losing blood because of a miscarriage. Avoid inflammatory foods they can contribute to more discomfort. Yarrow and Raspberry leaf are good fortifying herbs to help after blood loss. Chlorophyll and Spirulina are good to avoid or treat anemia.
SHOULD I KEEP THE TISSUE TO DO GENETIC TESTING?
This is a personal decision, Natera does offer tissue testing for chromosomal abnormalities. Speak with your midwife or O.B if this is something you are interested in doing. You would need to collect tissue and bring into your provider for this type of testing.
WHAT HERBS ARE BEST TO HELP ME HEAL?
Cramp bark: cramping
Yarrow: for blood loss
Motherwort: helps to slow bleeding and stabilize mood
Red Raspberry leaf: helps with blood loss, tones the uterus, assists in maintaining proper iron levels
Passion flower and Ashwagandha: for hormonal, emotional support and anxiety
Taking an herbal sitz bath can help with the physical aspect of healing, and can be very relaxing. Drink herbal teas such as chamomile.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER?
We want you to know that just as with any other pregnancy you will have a postpartum period and it is important to honor this period and nourish your body. Hormones are regulating and some women may experience postpartum depression and anxiety as a result. It may be hard to handle the tasks they are used to handling on your own. Please do not hesitate to reach out for outside support. If you do not have a support system ask your midwives or OB to help you with securing resources for postpartum support.
Please be sure to get plenty of rest, do not feel you have to explain anything to anyone, get in the sunshine, have your trusted support people around you, eat nourishing foods and drink plenty of liquids. Please let your partner, or another support person know if you are having any feelings of sadness, despair, or thoughts of hurting yourself.
HOW TO FIND A PRACTITIONER OR RESOURCES TO HELP?
These are some online resources that provide information as well as in person/online support groups.
HOW LONG UNTIL I HAVE A NORMAL CYCLE AGAIN?
Everyone varies but cycles may take up to six weeks to return, it may take shorter or longer depending on how long you were pregnant.
WHEN CAN I START TRYING AGAIN?
Give yourself time to heal, physically, emotionally and mentally. It usually takes at least 3 months for the cycle to normalize and the uterus to be ready for another pregnancy. Some women get pregnant fairly quickly after a miscarriage, others may not. It is an excellent opportunity to see a holistic practitioner and work on getting yourself in a place of optimal health. Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, are great at getting your health balanced to support subsequent pregnancies. Massage, Chiropractic and Pelvic Floor Therapy can prepare your body structurally and a Therapist can help you prepare on the mental, emotional level. When and if you do become pregnant, you may have feelings or fear of miscarriage, this is normal. Do not disconnect! It is important to connect with your growing baby everyday, and bask in the joys of new life. Share your pregnancy, and enjoy the time you spend with this growing life.
SHOULD I GET MY LABS AND HORMONES TESTED BEFORE TRYING AGAIN?
It is always a good idea to know if you have any hormonal imbalances or nutrient deficiencies before pregnancy. We do suggest having a preconception visit with your Midwife, Nutritionist, or Naturopathic Doctor.