Stephanie Schacher, Psy.D. Providing assessment and psychotherapy services in Westport, CT
When pregnant women have carried a life inside them only to lose the pregnancy to miscarriage it can be a traumatic event. What started out as surprise and excitement, quickly turns to sadness. pessimism, and possibly self-blame.
Whether the cause of the miscarriage is known or not, the loss impacts us. Even a first trimester loss may feel devastating. Though rationalizations such as "it was not meant to be" may be true, they bring little comfort. And supportive comments from others such as "you can always try again" not only don't help, but may leave you feeling unheard. Women may sink into sadness, hopelessness, anger, and fear without appropriate help. If you find yourself unable to shake the loss and focus on the future, therapy may be very helpful for you.
Pregnancy and childbirth is an experience like no other. Our bodies are recuperating from a taxing process, and our hormones are running rampant. Couple this with the intensity of the early months of child-rearing, breast-feeding, nighttime wakings, being "on" 24/7 while feeling there is no end in sight. Mix in your own preconceived expectations of motherhood and high standards you have set for yourself. Add the stress of negotiating a coparenting arrangement with your partner that may not always be smooth. These factors can be a perfect storm that cause women to experience anxiety and depression. Depression can take many forms, from feelings of inadequacy and lack of satisfaction with the role of motherhood to frequent crying, feelings of helplessness and morbid thoughts, to difficulty in bonding and providing the proper care for a newborn. These experiences are signs to seek support and therapy is appropriate at this time.