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Miscarriage is a painfully personal loss and though not uncommon, is a very individual experience of grief. As with any type of grief caused by loss, support groups can play a vital role in helping recover from the emotional and physical loss of miscarriage. There are numerous options for locating a miscarriage support group including local referrals from your doctor, friends and family, as well as online groups and organizations.
Depending on the individual scenario, the choice of a miscarriage support group may depend on whether anonymity is a factor. Some individuals find it easier to discuss their experience and feelings face to face with other people, while some prefer the anonymity of online discussion groups. As time passes, the preference may change, but it is important to start wherever and however is most comfortable, as attempting to deal with grief alone is more difficult.
The type of miscarriage support group a grieving parent chooses to join should be based on emotional needs. Some groups exist for women only, where understanding and support of both physical and emotional needs can be discussed. Other groups are for couples and address grief, loss and relationship impact. Some support groups exist solely in support of those experience miscarriage or infant death, while others are grief support groups that include anyone who has suffered a personal loss. Again, the type of miscarriage support group chosen is a very personal choice and should be based on individual circumstances.
Those experiencing miscarriage for the first time may be at a loss for where to begin. Your obstetrician or midwife should be able to refer you to a group or organization that has grief counseling and support groups in place. If you are a religious individual, talk to your priest, pastor, rabbi or other religious leader. Keep in mind that all options are available to you and you may want to have both a local group for regular meetings and an online group for talking anytime of the day or night. If you feel you need individual counseling, look for licensed professionals specializing in miscarriage and grief counseling.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember during and after a miscarriage is you are not alone. There are other people who have experienced loss and many willing to share their experiences and offer support. Find a miscarriage support group where you are comfortable and feel welcome, but not pressured, so that healing can begin. Check online for resources from various related organizations.
It takes longer for some women to get through the grieving process than it does others, and they should be encouraged to go to a group if they can stand it, because it will help them so much.
A mom who has miscarried needs to understand it's not her fault, and there was nothing she could have done to prevent it. That's a really, really tough pill to swallow, since as a mom, it's your job to protect that child.
Grivusangel is right, too. Both parents need to be involved in the grieving and recovery process, and a support group that offers services for both parents is almost certainly a good group to join.
Losing a baby profoundly affects the partner, too. Men often feel left out of the grieving process because they didn't carry the child. A couple I know lost a baby and the father said people came right out and told him it didn't hurt as much for him. They may have thought they were saying the right thing, but I thought it was cruel.
A good support group should either welcome partners or have a meeting partners can attend to talk about their grief and loss and have people there who can and do understand what they are going through.
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