Blood loss and miscarriage
You are pregnant, and you suddenly experience blood loss, what now? Always contact us if you experience blood loss. Blood loss at the beginning of your pregnancy occurs regularly and can have different causes. It does not always imply you are having a miscarriage. On this page we will explain what the causes are of blood loss and what you can do if you experience it. Finally, we will inform you about miscarriages.
Blood loss during the pregnancy
Experiencing blood loss during pregnany can be scary. The word miscarriage most likely crosses your mind but blood loss at the beginning of pregnancy actually occurs regularly.
Causes of blood loss at the beginning of your pregnancy:
- Implantation bleeding
- Abnormality of the cervix
If you experience blood loss during the pregnancy, contact us immediately. We will try and find the cause by asking you a few questions. Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, we will perform an ultrasound and give you an explanation and instruction as to what to do next.
The chances of suffering a miscarriage
Unfortunately, not each pregnancy leads to childbirth. Sometimes a pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. Unfortunately, miscarriages are rather common and the chances of miscarrying increases with age:
- Up till 35 years the chance is 1 in 10
- At an age of 35-40 the chance is 1 in 5-6
- At an age of 40-45 years the chance is 1 in 3
- At an age above 45 years the chance is 50%
What does a miscarriage look like
During a miscarriage you often suffer from blood loss and stomach cramps. This is what we call a ‘spontaneous miscarriage’. Not all miscarriages are accompanied by stomach pains and/or blood loss. It is also possible that there is no blood loss but that there is no heartbeat during the ultrasound. This is what we call a ‘missed abortion’. In most cases there is a chromosomal abnormality causing the miscarriage.
If we have confirmed a miscarriage, there are two options: we can wait till the bleeding starts or we can schedule an appointment with the gynaecologist. When blood loss occurs, the miscarriage often starts soon after. We advise you and give you instructions according to the blood loss and what to expect.
You have suffered a miscarriage, what now?
A miscarriage is an unpleasant experience, which can cause grief. After discovering your pregnancy, you create a new future perspective which suddenly disappears. Grieving is allowed, and it can take some time to process. We, as midwives are here for you, and, if desired, will stay in touch for a while.
1 to 6 weeks after the miscarriage, blood loss can still occur. We advise you to wait with intercourse until the bleeding has stopped.
Emotional impact of your pregnancy loss
Many women have a difficult time after the loss of their early pregnancy. A miscarriage often has more impact than they can imagine beforehand. This applies to women and their partners.
For example, the miscarriage means that your future is different than you thought. This loss suddenly ends all plans and fantasies about this child.
You may be wondering why things went wrong. It can be comforting to know that the pregnancy was usually not right from the start. That the miscarriage was a natural and logical consequence. But besides this factual statement, you may think that you could have done something or failed to do something to prevent the miscarriage. However understandable as it may be, feelings of guilt are not justified.
Also good to know: there is no time schedule for grief. Everyone experiences it differently. Everyone manages it differently. Give yourself what you need. The tips below can help.
What can you do to cope with your miscarriage?
- Take your feelings seriously. Everything is allowed: sadness, loss, guilt, disbelief, anger, a feeling of emptiness. You may also feel resignation or even relief. This is okay. Nothing is strange.
- Talk about it. Maybe with a friend, with your partner, with your sister or a neighbour. Or with parents who have experienced the same. Of course you are also welcome to see your midwife.
- Know that your partner will most likely experience and process the loss differently than you. That is normal. It is valuable if you can talk about it, with each other and with others.
- Do what feels right for you. When it’s right for you. Put a nice figurine on a shelf. Plant a tree in your yard. Choose a piece of jewellery as a reminder. Write your unborn child a letter. Light a candle regularly. Or do something completely different, but choose what suits you, or you as a couple.
- Read about it. Write about it. There are private groups on Facebook where you can write about your experience.
- Tell your living children about what happened. These are, for example, beautiful Dutch picture books to read with young children.
Do you need more to deal with your loss? Take this seriously, this is not a theme to mess around with. A specialised coach can mean a lot to you.
As a midwifery practice, we hear good experiences from women who sought help from coach Sanne Vliegen after their miscarriage. She is a well-trained miscarriage coach who work with the 5-step program of Miskraambegeleiding Nederland. Click here for more information about her or contact her via email@example.com.