Pregnancy loss is devastating, and unfortunately something that affects many. Often the first question women ask after they have had a miscarriage or pregnancy loss is when they can start trying again. While medical professionals recommend waiting a few cycles before trying again, this blog post is going to focus more on the mental aspect of trying to conceive (TTC) after loss, and my own personal experience.
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through PROnatal fitness. I am a mom of 1, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
In September of 2019, I experienced a late first trimester missed miscarriage. I went in for my 12 week ultrasound and learned that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. This was my first pregnancy, and it was completely unexpected. We had an 8 week ultrasound and everything looked great, so this came as a complete shock. My husband and I were heartbroken, and even though I was hurting, all I could think about was getting pregnant again. After some complications and an overnight stay in the emergency room, I ended up needing a D&C, so my doctor advised waiting at least 2 cycles before trying again.
I ended up getting pregnant with my son in January of 2020, 4 months after my miscarriage. While I am so thankful that I was able to get pregnant again without any issues, and that I had a very smooth pregnancy, there are some things in hindsight that I wish I had done differently for my mental health.
As I mentioned above, I was completely and utterly devastated after my miscarriage. I think given the fact that I had no signs something was wrong made it so much harder for me to process and accept. Because of the way it happened, I had a really hard time trusting my body while trying to conceive, and I had an anxiety ridden pregnancy. After lots of therapy after the birth of my son, here are some of my personal tips if you are trying to conceive after a pregnancy loss.
Go to therapy
Pregnancy loss is hard physically and emotionally, no matter how far along you were. Talking with a therapist to navigate the experience and the grief can help a lot in the healing process, and especially with figuring out when you are ready to try again. A therapist is also a safe space, with no judgement. Someone objective who validates your feelings, and you can be vulnerable with. This goes a long way, especially since miscarriage and pregnancy loss is still something that is uncomfortable for our society to talk about. Also being in a good space mentally when you TTC can help set you up for a more positive subsequent pregnancy journey.
Lean into the things and activities that make you feel good
For me, I fell into a bit of a depressive state after my loss. I didn’t really want to leave my apartment, or do anything. I didn’t like that life was continuing on as normal, even though I was going through something really tough. But taking time each day to do something that I enjoyed, really went a long way. Sometimes I had to force myself to do them, but I always felt better after. Things like taking a walk, watching my favorite show, and getting lunch with my husband. This spilled over into TTC as well. It’s easy when you’re trying to have a baby to laser focus all your energy on timed intercourse and cervical fluid. But trying to do things each day that bring you joy can help take some of that pressure off.
Allow friends and family to be there for you
Going through pregnancy loss can be incredibly isolating, especially if you hadn’t announced your pregnancy yet. If you have a good relationship with your parents, family, and friends - consider letting them know what you’re going through. Having extra support can really go a long way. Let them know you just need them to hold space for your emotions, or maybe you need them to distract you. Make it clear you don’t need them to fix things, but you just need them for support. I think a lot of people don’t really know how to be there for others going through tough times, so giving them some guidance of what you need may help. Also having them know what you’re going through should help ward off questions of “when is the baby coming.” Because no one needs that.
Find ways to connect with your body
Something I did was commit to my yoga practice. Rather than my high intensity workout routines, I switched gears and decided my body needed gentle movement. Something that grounded me, and brought me inward. After my miscarriage I felt so betrayed and disconnected from my body. Yoga helped me find myself again, and learn how to trust my body moving forward.
Take it day by day
I’m not going to lie - it’s hard. All of it. Pregnancy loss, TTC after loss, pregnancy after loss…..it’s freaking hard. The best advice I can give is to take it one day at a time. Nothing is guaranteed. Literally nothing. My miscarriage also showed me that I don’t really have control over anything. I can’t control when I’ll get pregnant, or if my pregnancy will stick. So taking it day by day gave me freedom, and some space to enjoy the journey.
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.