Miscarriage = A difficult word to say out loud. The word feels heavy, laden with the weight of grief, sadness, pain, and shame. Sadly, it’s not an uncommon occurrence… statistics tell us 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage in their lifetime. I’ve had two & I know many women who’ve had more. Miscarriage is always a significant loss. There is no quick fix for recovery and every mother walks a unique path to acceptance and healing.
So, how can you get through it? Here are 3 steps towards healing after miscarriage:
The hardest thing after my miscarriages was breathing. That may sound weird, but it took a conscious effort to breathe through the grief. In Chinese Medicine, grief is the emotion of the Metal Element. The Metal Element corresponds to the Lungs. When grief attacks the Lungs, it can be physically hard to breathe as the chest tightens and constricts. To help you (and your Lungs) process the grief, consciously take a deep healing breath, in through your nose, expanding down to your diaphragm, and out through your mouth. Repeat a few times until you feel grief relax its cool grip. It can help to imagine breathing in white healing light and breathing out clouds of gray sadness.
Self-care Tip: There is a point on the Lung channel named "Broken Sequence"... it is a powerful point to release grief. Massage and press the point to help your body process feelings of grief and sadness.
2. Express your thoughts
Miscarriage is an incredibly lonely and isolating experience. It doesn’t matter how long you were a mother, nothing can replace the loss of the life inside you and very few people will understand what it feels like. Your partner may be sad too, but there is no denying that your sense of loss will be stronger and last longer. To process grief, all of the emotions (sadness, anxiety, fear, shame, worry, guilt) must be physically released. Here are some ideas on how to let those emotions go:
3. Allow time to heal
If you can, escape from work and daily obligations. Take 2-3 days to live in your pajamas, feel the pain & loss, cry uncontrollably, and heal. If you can’t take time away, schedule an hour into your day to process the grief by expressing your emotions. Crying in the shower is good too!
Recovering from miscarriage is often the loneliest journey, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
If you need help, let friends or family know what you’re going through and ask for their support. Reach out to a local acupuncturist to holistically heal your mind-body-spirit.
Once you open up about your loss, you'll be surprised how many women will share that they've had one too. Miscarriage is a common secret there is no reason to keep.
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM practices Oriental & Chinese Medicine in Hawaii and Texas.