Addressing PTSD after miscarriage takes patience

By Megan Lacourrege

Megan Lacourrege

The shock of losing a baby to miscarriage is difficult enough, but it can be overwhelming if, afterwards, you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It’s well-known that people, like soldiers or accident survivors, may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, but few realize that miscarriage can also cause PTSD.

For the soldier, the booming sound of a car backfiring may serve as a trigger – a reminder of the traumatic event – that causes him or her to relive the experience.

For miscarriage, the triggers are numerous and appear ordinary, even happy, to those who have never gone through this trauma. You can’t step out of the house without seeing them: pregnant women, babies and their coos or cries; maternity and infant sections of stores.

Even within your home, reminders may seem inescapable. Seeing pregnancy announcements and items or a room in your home that were intended for your baby who died may seem too much to handle.

It is not so much that you are personally offended by the pregnant woman, maternity clothes or announcements. It’s that they all pungently remind you of the loss.

If I could have told myself one thing when first experiencing PTSD after miscarriage, it would be, “Be patient.” Be patient with yourself. Your healing cannot be rushed or given a time limit.

Many days, you may feel incapable of doing basic tasks. That will not last forever. No one can predict when it will lessen for you, but gradually, it will. Whenever those difficult feelings come, gently remind yourself that they are temporary.


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