Women who suffer the loss of a child during pregnancy often feel alone in their grief and pain. Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.
Miscarriage heartbreak
Doctors don’t know all of the reasons why some pregnancies are carried to full term and others aren’t. Most miscarriages are caused by chromosome problems, according to information from the National Library of Medicine’s website.

Some other possible causes include infection, exposure to toxins, diseases or physical problems, drug use and obesity. The risk of miscarriage is highest in mothers older than 40, although the risk starts to increase at age 30. Those who have suffered a previous miscarriage are at higher risk.

What all of these details don’t tell you is the feelings that mothers undergo when they lose a child in utero. Dr. Seuss said it best in Horton Hears a Who! when he wrote, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

A mother’s love affair with her child often begins before she is pregnant. Many young girls dream about the day they will be come mothers, often even choosing names for their future children.

Once a woman learns that she is pregnant, she is filled with hopes, dreams and unbelievable feelings of love for a child she hasn’t yet met. With each new day, there are new dreams and hopes.

Shopping for baby clothes and nursery furniture, knitting blankets or booties, talking with her husband or partner about baby names, and sharing the exciting news with family and friends often dominate a mother-to-be’s days.

Dealing with the emotional aftereffects of miscarriage is not easy. Although some people think that you should get over the loss of an unborn child quickly, that’s not how it works.

Well-meaning friends or family members may say things like, “It wasn’t even a baby yet” or “At least you weren’t further along.” Clearly these are people who don’t understand the grief you are feeling.

The American Pregnancy Association’s website offers helpful ideas for those going through the loss of an unborn child. The March of Dimes offers a free bereavement kit to parents and families who have lost a child between conception and the first month of life. Call 800-367-6630 or email bkit@marchofdimes.com for more details.

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