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Dealing with the emotional trauma of miscarriage

A miscarriage, or the loss of a child before 20 weeks, occurs in up to one in five confirmed pregnancies. Despite how frequently pregnancies end in miscarriage, there is still the stigma, taboo, and silence around the subject, and there is still much room for improvement in how society and the healthcare system support parents. Fathers may feel especially neglected and unappreciated, and their grief may be misinterpreted in this situation.

You can be less prone in expressing your emotions openly and externally, or they might show up as impatience, rage, or retreat. Men tend to use coping mechanisms like staying busy, looking for distractions like increased exercise, going back to work, finishing up home chores, and creative hands-on outlets like carpentry or writing, even if our reactions to grieving can be immensely variable.

Many services fail to take dads’ needs into account as parents, and many men find it difficult to reach out for or seek help after a miscarriage. Don’t be scared to ask for help; you might not always receive it in the same way as the person who is miscarrying.

You and your spouse may feel pretty confused after losing a pregnancy. You’re trying to make sense of what occurred and dealing with a wide range of emotions.

However, it can be quite challenging to get your personal needs acknowledged and met as a grieving father. In the weeks that follow a miscarriage, the mother frequently receives attention, and the father’s grief may go unnoticed. While few people thought to ask about you, you may be approached and asked on how your partner is doing instead. Some individuals might find it awkward to inquire about a man’s emotions, while others could just think that you are less touched by what has transpired. You might discover that you are expected to keep your emotions to yourself in order to be a strong and supportive partner.

We at BFH have used this article to acknowledge that a miscarriage is likely to have an impact on both you and your spouse, but in possibly different ways. Whatever they may be, all of your needs and feelings are significant and legitimate. There are no right or wrong emotions because everyone responds differently. You could notice that your emotions change from day to day or even from moment to moment. However, some of those emotions could be challenging for you to deal with and discuss.

Men have characterised the following sentiments for miscarriage as examples:

  1. Shock: at the unexpected course of events, especially if there were no warning indicators.

  2. Anger: at the injustice of it all and at the medical team for not preventing it from happening.

  3. Grief: is a powerful, possibly unanticipated emotion of loss and mourning.

  4. Isolation: is loneliness, especially when your partner seems to be avoiding you or when other people don’t seem to get it.

  5. Guilt and failure: perhaps for not being present when it happened, for what transpired, for your partner’s psychological and physical pain.

  6. Relief: comes at the end of a period of uncertainty or a pregnancy you didn’t want.

  7. Helplessness and annoyance: at your inability to influence events.

  8. Loss of focus: experiencing a sense of overwhelming events and feelings.

  9. Lack of interest or lack of desire for sex: You could equate sex with the unpleasant physical effects of miscarriage or worry about when is it safe to resume.

  10. Anxiety: about your partner’s mental and physical health, your relationship, or a potential pregnancy.

  11. Impatience: the desire to resume normal life.

All of these are common, albeit some of them might not sound familiar. We’ll concentrate on only two for the time being: the sense of loss and mourning and the problem of powerlessness and lack of control.

Each person’s experience will be unique and distinct, depending on how much this specific pregnancy means to them and what else is going on in their lives. Whatever your emotions, there’s a good likelihood that many other men have experienced similar emotions.

Here are some suggestions made by men to help you deal with your emotions:

Describe it: Try talking to someone you feel comfortable around to share your feelings. This might be your spouse, but if you don’t feel comfortable talking to her, consider reaching out to a close relative or friend, or one of the male volunteers of miscarriage associations and groups. It may feel awkward if you’re not used to talking about your emotions, but it is truly beneficial.

Educate yourself: Try to learn more from your doctor and miscarriage help groups or even therapists about what has occurred, what is occurring, and what is likely to occur in the future. While you might not be able to acquire all the answers you are looking for, having access to accurate information can help you feel more in control.

Take some time : It takes time to deal with pregnancy loss, and there is no set timeline for doing so. If you experience a poor day after feeling fully recovered, don’t be shocked. Feelings are ephemeral, so if one day is awful, chances are the next will be better.

Get ready: Feelings frequently reappear at particular times. The day your child was scheduled to arrive and the anniversary of the loss might be particularly poignant dates. Other occasions to consider include Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas (or other religious holidays), and Father’s Day.

Get support: Bereavement counselling can be quite beneficial in figuring out how to deal with this if you find yourself “stuck” in the early stages of sorrow and are unable to move on.

No doubt mothers have to go through the physical pain of losing the child as well. It is much more difficult for them. But this doesn’t imply that the fathers in such a situation feel any less or nothing. They lost their child too. It’s high time we start showing empathy towards them so that they can overcome the emotional trauma of miscarriage and help their partners in a better way.

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