Miscarriages occur in 10 to 20 percent of confirmed pregnancies – yet there’s still much stigma and silence attached to the experience, especially when it comes to the male partner’s feelings. As a result, many men feel their loss isn’t acknowledged and find it hard to navigate their grief. If you’ve recently experienced a miscarriage and are feeling the same way, read on for some tips on how to navigate this time better.
- Talk about it
Open and honest communication is one of the most crucial aspects of coping with a miscarriage. Many men are wary of sharing their emotions or grief as they do not want to burden their partner. Others take on the identities constructed for them by society – the typical male attitude in the face of crisis is to fix things. However, talking openly about your feelings, concerns, and fears helps you both. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, you can work through your grief together. A miscarriage isn’t something that can be fixed – only time will heal the loss you went through.
- Educate Yourself
There is a feeling of powerlessness attached to the miscarriage experience. There is the loss of what could have been and also questions about the future. For those who experience multiple miscarriages, there’s also the fear that parenthood may not be possible. During this time, you can educate yourself about the biological processes, and possible causes (although be aware that miscarriages just happen and there’s nothing you and your partner could have done differently). This knowledge will help provide a basis for informed discussions with your healthcare providers.
- Prioritize Self Care
Studies have shown that men believe their primary role at the time of miscarriage is to support their partner. It’s important to be present for each other, but equally important to also dedicate time for self-care. Grief can be overwhelming. It’s essential you remind each other to take care of yourselves, both physically and emotionally.
- Write it down
If talking about your experience feels too heavy, try writing down your feelings. Researchers found that feelings of sadness, devastation, powerlessness, fear, shock, and a loss of identity are very common during this time. Writing down your thoughts allows you to identify and understand them better.
- Memorialize the loss
Creating a meaningful way to remember and honor the lost pregnancy can bring solace. A small memorial service, planting a tree, giving to a charity, or creating art as a tribute can all be therapeutic. Additionally, having a project to work on helps you assuage the feelings of grief and loss.
- Lean on your support network
Sharing your feelings with trusted individuals or a support group can help you navigate your grief and maintain your mental and emotional well being. If you’re struggling to find people within your social networks to talk to about your loss, professional help, such as counseling or therapy, can help you navigate this delicate time.
- Take your time
Grief doesn’t have a set timeline and often comes in waves – a good day can be followed by a bad day. This is natural – be kind to yourself and give each other all the time you need to process the experience.
Dealing with a miscarriage is a heartbreaking experience. By communicating openly, empowering yourself with information, practicing self-care, memorializing the loss, and seeking professional help, you can effectively cope with the emotional aftermath of the experience.
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