Miscarriage: After the Storm, Guide to Self Care
One of the most hurtful things to happen to a woman is losing a baby! During early pregnancy, many things can go wrong, which cannot be detected unless there are clear risk factors. Majority of miscarriages happen in first trimester and are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Generally, about 1 in 5 early pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. Following miscarriages, the reports show that most of these cases, are due to mal development in the fetus. Overall, the exact cause of miscarriages is unknown. Some factors can pose as risk towards miscarriage, namely mother’s health problems, smoking, drinking, and drug use.
Below are Ten Important Guidelines for Self-Care After a Miscarriage
- Miscarriage hurts, you MUST give yourself a chance to heal. This must be both physically and emotionally.
- You must get enough rest, especially for the first 24 hours after the sad event.
- Following a miscarriage, one of the thing we keep an eye on is the temperature. You have to take your temperature in the evening for the next 5 days.
- Bleeding is a common thing following miscarriage. You might have bleeding like your normal menstrual period for a few days. Also, you could / may have spotting on and off for up to 4 weeks. Don’t worry, this is normal
- Post miscarriage cramping is also common, this can/might happen for a day or two.
- Please, keep your pads handy, you will need them for the first 24 hours.
- Please remember to change the pads at least every 8 hours.
- Now, this is VERY important, DO NOTE have sexual intercourse until the bleeding has stopped.
- Please you MUST use contraception after miscarriage, (It’s a good idea to use birth control for the first month even if you do want to get pregnant again soon.) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
- PLEASE Don’t douche.
So, while, you are home, when do you Call your doctor
PLEASE, Call your doctor immediately if:
- Your temperature goes above 100° F.
- You are experiencing heavy bleeding (more than the heaviest day of a normal period). This is individualized
- You experience Cramping after the first 2 or 3 days.
- You have any severe pain.
Specific Personalized Things You Can Do for Yourself
Please do the following:
- Take GOOD care of yourself. You must give yourself time and permission/ chance to grieve. Relaxation and adequate diet are very important. Eat the right things
- Ask for help: You must be expressive, ask what you need. If you are feeling sad, ask your partner or a friend to listen to you. Seek professional help from a psychologist if need be. If you feel ill, ask for whatever will make you more comfortable.
- Perform Some kind of ritual: This might go a long way in comforting you in your loss. A religious service or small personal memorial can help you and others express the grief you feel.
- Seek, professional help on time: Please Discuss your experience with a professional. You can talk with your family doctor or nurse, or with your obstetrician or midwife. Social workers are also available to help you.Finally, recovery from miscarriage is a journey. Some women can recover easily, while other can take a very long time to come around. Partners MUST provide needed emotional/ physical help/ support.
Chudi Ufondu. MD
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