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You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Conception

Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage

by Katlyn Joy | November 1, 2013 12:00 AM
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Losing a pregnancy, whether an early first trimester miscarriage, or a late term stillbirth, is a profound loss. It is the loss of a child, a dream and an experience that seems so natural and easy. If you struggled with infertility before the loss, the pain may be sharper still.

When is it time try to conceive again?

That depends on a few factors. First of all, are you emotionally ready to try again? Have you grieved adequately and now feel ready to go for it once more? How is your spouse handling it? Is he still struggling with the idea of another pregnancy? You both need to be in synch before proceeding.

If you've miscarried twice or more in a row, it is preferable that you see a doctor and look into whether there is a reason you lost the pregnancy. Some reasons could include hormonal or chromosomal issues, which may be detected by a simple blood test. There could be problems within the uterus, and imaging such as ultrasounds, x-rays or hysteroscope can help pinpoint the issue. Sometimes, doctors will not find any smoking gun, but should that be the case you can still be hopeful. As many as 70 percent of women with unexplained and repeated miscarriages go on to have healthy pregnancies.

It used to be standard to say to wait. How long was a matter of opinion; some doctors would say six months, others a year. If it was an especially early miscarriage, the physician may to wait a cycle or two only. However, now it is more likely you'll be told to try again as soon as you feel up to it.

A 2010 Scottish study published in BMJ looked at nearly 31,000 women who had miscarried during their first pregnancy. The findings indicated that women who became pregnant within 6 months of the loss had better pregnancy outcomes than those who waited longer. Women who waited longer than 2 years had significantly higher rates of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. These women also were more likely to have a preterm delivery, a lower birth weight baby, and were more likely to have cesarean sections. The findings were not altered by how early the first miscarriage occurred in a woman's pregnancy.

Before Trying to Conceive Again

1. Acknowledge your loss.
If you try to sweep emotions aside and move on too quickly, those feelings are likely to crop up again during the next pregnancy. Find a way to make peace with your loss. This may be something as simple as a prayer, a letter, a shoebox of memories associated with that pregnancy, or perhaps naming the child you lost.

2. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins and eat foods rich in folic acid.
You want your body strong and ready for a pregnancy. That means eating a healthy diet, just as if you are already carrying a baby, as you know the first couple weeks you may not even know you are expecting. Get regular, restful sleep and exercise regularly to keep your weight in check.

3. Communicate with your partner.
Good feelings, bad feelings, thoughts and fears should all be shared with the other parent. Chances are they have similar ones. Stay united and don't allow yourselves to have a wedge between you.

4. Get the official OK from your health care provider.
There are a few cases when a doctor will want you to wait before trying again, such as if there is an infection suspected and test results are pending.

5. Decide whether or not to let others in on your decision to try again.
For some, the support you receive will be worthwhile, but for others it may feel more like pressure. Figure it out as a couple.

Once You Are Pregnant

Don't be afraid to enjoy the moments, even the early ones. You may feel like you are walking on eggshells, but try to remember that the overwhelming majority of women will follow up a miscarriage with a healthy pregnancy.

If you get a cramp, spot a bit, or feel a twinge fight the urge to panic or despair. It is most likely nothing to worry about. However, if you are concerned, put in a call to your health care provider to allay your miscarriage alarm.

Don't be surprised by mixed emotions, such as excitement, numbness, fear, joy, or even anger. You may be afraid to bond with your baby, and this may be even truer for your man. He may want to stay reserved and ready to be strong to help you.

When you decide to share the happy news, realize some people may be a bit more hesitant to rejoice with you because they are protective of you or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. And some may actually say something like, "I knew God would replace the one you lost," or something of that sort. Realize while their mouth is in error, their heart most likely was in the right place.

Make a conscious choice to enjoy this pregnancy as best you can, from beginning to end.


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