Postpartum depression is typically associated with the time after giving birth and its symptoms. Not too often is miscarriage linked to Postpartum depression because of the fact that there was no actual birth of a baby.
Regardless, losing a future baby through miscarriage is a devastating experience that carries a load of grief that can manifest into Postpartum depression.
The symptoms of PPD can include but are not limited to the following:
- Extreme hopelessness and sadness
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty making decisions
- Concerns about being a good parent
- Significant change in sleep patterns
- Outside stressful events in life
- Thoughts of self-harm
Someone could experience one or two of these and still be diagnosed as PPD or none and have other relatable grief symptoms that develop into PPD.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and it is completely normal to feel the way you do through this life-changing event, which is the main takeaway from this article. It is important to remember that there is help out there and a medical professional can provide that through therapy, medication, or potentially other alternatives.
For a mother, the body is going through a massive shift in hormones that contribute to PPD arising whereas the father could feel as if he lost his identity of being a dad through a miscarriage causing Postpartum depression to present itself.
Whatever it may be, I hope this article can shed some light on how your emotions are normal, what they may explain, and how to properly address them and take care of yourself.
Emotional challenges that individuals may face after a miscarriage.
A miscarriage can present an array of emotions to both mom and dad especially when other factors contribute to the story. Typically beginning with grief and transitioning into depression, these feelings can carry a heavy weight that makes it difficult to process what happened and move on.
Postpartum depression is identified as the time period right after childbirth up to a year of the child’s age.
Perinatal depression is considered the time of conception up to a year of the child’s age, which is more encompassing, especially with an event like a miscarriage.
On the mother’s side, hormonal changes could be considered the number one factor for experiencing grief and PPD following a miscarriage. Estrogen and progesterone spike during pregnancy and drop off significantly after a miscarriage, resulting in an altered mental state.
With fathers, the psychological factors of preparing to become a dad, planning your bonding time, and the build-up can cause a severe loss of identity, a significant contributing factor to PPD.
Having all of that stripped from your future for the time being can send partners/fathers into a spiral of confusion and grief creating fertile grounds for PPD to grow.
Again, it is important to understand what you are going through is normal and part of the mourning process, but with time, comfort, and support you will get through this!
It is sometimes difficult to see the light in a time of darkness, but by surrounding yourself with supportive people and professional help, you will bring back the person you know you are capable of being!
Emotional Impact of Miscarriage
Grief is a very common emotion to experience when there is a sudden loss or just a loss in general in somebody’s life. Miscarriages are very commonly associated with grief as the loss of a future child can be unbearably painful to accept.
Some of the most common emotions experienced with grief are:
- Denial: Not being able to accept what happened. Losing a pregnancy and the hope and dreams of raising that child can be very difficult for parents to understand and accept.
- Anger: Feeling like you are one to blame or mad at the healthcare system for not diagnosing or potentially missing a problem. Being mad at the world for taking away a future life.
- Bargaining: Creating a deal with yourself or potentially a higher being for having things return to normal.
- Depression: Sad, hopeless, guilty, tired, and lack of interest in things you once enjoyed. This is where PPD can truly take form if not addressed and supported with proper care.
- Acceptance: coming to terms with everything and having the comfort of moving forward. You can learn to live with what happened and regain your energy towards future goals and eventually try to start a family again.
Parents who have gone through a miscarriage face unique challenges as there is a difference between PPD after childbirth and Postpartum depression after a miscarriage.
Depression can last up to 3 years with a miscarriage, whereas with PPD it is typically only up to a year after birth.
People may also not fully understand the challenges parents face when dealing with a miscarriage. They may say things they feel are supportive such as “It’s ok you can try again” or “At least you don’t know the baby”.
These statements can trigger a range of emotional responses that do not justify the way you are feeling.
You are allowed to grieve and mourn which is a totally normal thing to experience after a miscarriage, so don’t beat yourself up over the way you are feeling, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Overlapping Symptoms: Miscarriage and Postpartum Depression
Miscarriage and PPD can present very similar symptoms that overlap with one another. Postpartum depression when present in parents who have given birth often does not have grief associated with it, which is the most common factor with miscarriage.
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of identity
These are prime examples of symptoms that are prevalent in miscarriages and PPD.
Parents that have gone through a miscarriage could have a whole future planned on from the set up of the nursery to which pre-k they will go to. Having this stripped away demonstrates how these symptoms can develop and eventually transition into PPD.
Factors Contributing to Post-Miscarriage Depression
Here are some factors to take into consideration with dealing with post-miscarriage depression:
History of depression
This is incredibly important to be aware of, especially with PPD, as knowing your family history or your past experiences and how you have dealt with them plays a huge role in post-miscarriage depression.
Lack of support
Without a proper support system or plan in place, working through post-miscarriage depression alone is an overwhelming feat in itself. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and there are ways to get help.
Talk with your partner or family members about your situation so they can guide you in the right direction.
The burden or weight of a past experience with grief could compound the symptoms of having a miscarriage.
History of previous miscarriage
This plays an unfortunate factor of feelings such as this was not meant to be, the world is against us, why keep trying?
This is normal to feel like this and seeking proper professional help can help you process and work through this.
Seeking Help and Support
Unfortunately, miscarriages are not uncommon and YOU ARE NOT ALONE if you have experienced one and are struggling with everything.
Fortunately for this, there are many ways of seeking help and support groups that specifically deal with miscarriages and the grieving process.
There are trained therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, and support groups that specialize in miscarriages and navigating your feelings to facilitate the mourning process.
Some self-care coping strategies for managing grief and potential symptoms of depression involve talking with your partner, family, or friends about your feelings.
Taking time for yourself such as going for walks outside, meditating, journaling, and practicing breathing techniques are easy ways to try and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Making sure you focus on proper sleep can really help pull you out of a funk.
Exercise and a healthy diet are great ways of making yourself feel better and growing your confidence for overcoming future challenging emotions.
Always educating yourself and being remindful of what you are going through is completely normal and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
The fact that miscarriages are not uncommon includes you in a community of other individuals who could help shed some light and awareness on what you are battling.
Mourning is a part of working through the process of overcoming grief associated with a miscarriage and should not be looked at as inferior or weak in any way.
If you are experiencing stronger feelings of depression and are considering an alternative approach to living your compelling future filled with love, gratitude, and confidence with your family, then please take the next step with me and schedule a 30-minute connection call to see how I can help.
You have already made a step in the right direction by reading this article and I hope this sheds light on miscarriage and PPD and the importance of seeking help and understanding you are normal, what you are feeling is normal, and you are not to blame, and you will get through this.
- Postpartum Insomnia For Partners: Navigating Sleep Challenges During Pregnancy and Beyond - December 14, 2023
- Navigating Anxiety in Partners During Pregnancy - December 1, 2023
- How to Prepare for a Baby: A Parent’s Guide - November 16, 2023