Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

February 10, 2013

WHOLE FAMILY: Handling miscarriages isn’t easy for mothers

(Continued)

Opinions differ about how to handle a threatened miscarriage — an instance where mother might be having light bleeding or cramping but still has a viable fetus. Some healthcare providers prescribe hormones or drugs, though some studies suggest they are, ultimately, ineffective in preventing a miscarriage that’s bound to happen.

Most care providers say something like this: Go about your business, perhaps taking it easier than usual. Stay well hydrated, eat optimally, and rest. If a threatened miscarriage is going to happen, most efforts to stop it seem to be in vain.

As for handling a miscarriage. Again, opinions differ. As best I can tell, the barometer is the bleeding. If your bleeding is like a heavy period and eventually slows, you’re probably not at great risk. Excessive bleeding and bleeding that won’t slow could mean a problem. Tack on other maternal health issues — say, anemia — and it would be a good idea to get somewhere where there’s blood to transfuse.

As for everything else, a miscarriage would warrant a call to your healthcare provider for her advice and, likely, a visit either during the process or shortly after. Some providers like to perform a dilation and curettage (“D&C”) to clear the uterus of all contents.

As long as my body was doing it itself and I showed no signs of infection, I said no to the D&C.

And the grieving. As with any death — of a baby, an older person, or an idea, hope or dream — women grieve over their miscarriages. It hurts to lose a baby, even if their baby was the size of a kidney bean.

A woman cycles through the common stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — and might feel other emotions as well. Be aware that something might trigger grief you thought was handled. A baby shower six months later might open the flood gates. I know women whose miscarriage anniversary each year is cause for remembrance.

And don’t forget dad — and even family — experience the loss, too. We think of pregnancy and babies as mothers’ issues exclusively, but they’re not. Others hurt too.

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