Huntington Reproductive Center - Blogs

The HRC Fertility Blog is a resource for patients and those seeking infertility related issues and articles. Check back often or subscribe to this blog as it is changed weekly by the HRC staff.

How to Handle Your Pregnancy After Infertility or Miscarriage

Women who have struggled with infertility or who have suffered a loss of a pregnancy can have difficulties relaxing and enjoying themselves when they become pregnant afterwards. These women commonly feel as though they don’t belong in the hopeful group of pregnant moms. They may continue feeling grief for their previous loss, or even detachment from the baby whom they fear is too good to be true. 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fotolia_38766462_XS-lady-in-bed.JPG

While such feelings are only natural, these women do not necessarily want to share them with others. They fear complaining about their pregnancy symptoms makes them seem ungrateful. Or they worry that people will think they are a bad mom for not being overjoyed with their good news. So instead, many women keep these feelings hidden, robbing themselves from the joyful experience that pregnancy can be.

Here are some ways to handle your pregnancy after infertility or miscarriage:

 

  • Find a supportive care provider and support group. More than 6 million women of child-bearing age in the United States have had problems with fertility. Even more couples have suffered a pregnancy loss. Many of these couples go on to have healthy pregnancies. In other words, there are many women out there with the same feelings you have. Find a support group where you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with other women like you. Also, there are many OB doctors and midwives who have experience handling the pregnancies of women like yourself, who may not have had an easy time conceiving and keeping a pregnancy in the past.  
  • Educate yourself about pregnancy. It is common for women who have had a history of failure to feel more anxiety at each stage and symptom of pregnancy. Every twinge, discomfort or change can have them panicked and dialing their provider for answers. Read books, articles, blogs and websites specializing in pregnancy so you know what to expect. Knowledge will help you manage your anxiety. 
  • Allow yourself time to cope. The stress and disappointment from infertility treatment and miscarriage can generate lasting emotions that are difficult to set aside with your “good news.” Some of your feelings of detachment or guilt may be rooted in feelings you have suppressed regarding your experience or your loss. Give yourself permission to sort though all your feelings to help you experience closure and help you get on to the joy of your new pregnancy. 
  • Remember that you do belong. No matter how you got there, pregnancy has undeniable downsides, from morning sickness to ankle swelling to flatulence. Complaining about these side effects is the right of every pregnant woman. 

There is no way to fully embrace your future if you can’t let go of the past. If you are having a hard time coping with your emotions or fear that your feelings are getting worse, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. There are counselors who can help you process your emotions in a healthy way and move past your disappointment. 

Being pregnant after a miscarriage or an infertility presents a complicated time for many women. Most of them have similar experiences and feelings. If you can reach out to the community, you may help a future woman in your same situation to cope. Then maybe you can enjoy the wonders of your pregnancy, your future motherhood and your family with an open mind and heart.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_JaneFrederick20_1-head-shot.jpg

 

 

 

 

Jane Frederick, MD, FACOG
HRC Fertility
Office: Fullerton, Laguna Hills, and Newport Beach

 

 Sources:

 http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyloss/mcgettingpregnantagain.html

 http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=21&compID=128

 http://voices.yahoo.com/how-cope-anxiety-during-pregnancy-after-miscarriage-5663444.html

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson at Fertility Planit
What You Need to Know about Using a Surrogate