What To Do After A Miscarriage: Healing, Care And Precautions
The loss of a child you love even before you were able to set your eyes on him or her is heartbreaking for any mother to bear. When it comes to a miscarriage, you, the mum, need to take care of yourself and your wellbeing.
When a mother suffers a miscarriage, the first feeling that usually comes before grief is denial – did it really happen? I’ve done all I could do, why did this happen to me?
The pain of it can be overwhelming, to the point that you would much rather just stay in bed. And while this can be tempting to do, paying your OB-GYN a visit as soon as you can will be for your own health and safety, both right now and in the future.
What to do after a miscarriage
During your consultation, she will most likely give you a check-up. If you miscarried at home, she will ask you what happened. As with all your check-ups, she will need the details of what happened. Be rest assured that you can talk to your doctor freely about what happened. Not only is she an expert, but she has helped out numerous mothers when it comes to losses as well. She will give you the best and safest possible steps to take next.
If the miscarriage happened while in the hospital during a check-up or a routine procedure, such as not finding a heartbeat during an ultrasound or other situations, your next steps will perhaps happen while you’re already there.
D&C, or the Natural Route?
The most common procedure that women who have suffered a miscarriage undergoes is called Dilatation and Curettage, or known simply as D&C. In simple terms, D&C is like imagining that the uterus a bowl, and the contents of the bowl is removed.
Dr Lariza Bautista-Luna, OB-GYN at The Medical City Philippines, says, “If the woman is suffering from symptoms of profuse bleeding, and her ultrasound results confirms that she indeed had a miscarriage, she might need Dilatation and Curettage. It’s to minimize bleeding, and stabilize her vital signs.”
Dr. Mae C Syki-Young, MD, OB-GYN and an active consultant for the Makati Medical Center and St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC PH, agrees that procedures to be done are a case to case basis. She says, “Depends on the situation. If she is already bleeding profusely, a completion curettage can be done. If no urgency, the patient can opt to wait for several days and see if she will bleed spontaneously. This will all depend on the assessment of the attending doctor.”
Dr. Luna says that some patients choose to simply observe and wait for the body to do what it does naturally, and it’s also because women think that a D&C might put them through more physical pain on top of the emotional pain that they’re already going through. But, not all women should wait it out though—getting a D&C can mean life or death. She advises, “Expectant management or observation is okay, as long as the doctor explained and advised the patient about what to do, she is not bleeding profusely, and again she has stable vital signs . But, it’s dangerous to leave miscarriage alone because a patient can bleed profusely.” Losing a lot of blood is dangerous, and needs to be addressed right away. Dr. Luna adds that mothers need to be checked for any possible infection that might happen.
Feel Your Feelings
After undergoing the necessary orders by the doctor, it’s important for mothers to move from caring for their physical needs, and into the emotional needs. It’s suggested that women undergo preconception counseling. Dr. Syki-Young says that a woman will have a quick physical recovery, but it’s still necessary to take a leave, and to take it easy. “The emotional, psychological and mental recovery will require more time than the physical recovery. That’s why I tell them to take a maternity leave. They might look normal on the outside, but they are suffering inside.”
Most hospitals have support groups that women can join for free. Ask your doctor for any groups within the hospital that you would be comfortable in joining. Places of worship sometimes also offer free counseling services, or can refer you to a good counselor. However you would want to approach it, remember that you’re not alone–you don’t need to carry the grief and loss by yourself. Lean on your partner, talk it out, give yourself the time you need to heal. What’s important is you honor yourself and what you’ve been through, and that means picking yourself up slowly and surely.