The Loss of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is a tragic event that has happened to many women and families. It is very different from abortion, however. In an abortion, the life of the child is taken purposefully. In a miscarriage, the child’s life ends accidentally, almost always beyond the control of the mother. What are important things you need to know about miscarriage?

What Causes Miscarriages?

About half of miscarriages occur because the child has a genetic abnormality. Other major causes include an abnormality in the womb, hormonal changes, age, and chronic health conditions. There is no evidence that stress or normal physical activities cause miscarriage.

If miscarriage was caused by abuse or violence, it’s not the fault of the mother. The person who committed the abuse or violence is the person who caused it. Any woman experiencing abuse should seek help immediately.

In most cases the cause of a miscarriage is impossible to know, but most are completely beyond the control of anyone to prevent. Miscarriages are very common, between 10 and 20 percent of known pregnancies result in miscarriages.

What Emotions Happen After Miscarriages?

Even though most miscarriages cannot be blamed on anyone, many women feel guilt or shame and blame themselves in some way. Men can often feel the same. Their emotions are the result of many causes, including natural guilt and grief over the loss of a child.

One important cause of guilt or shame is that miscarriages are often not talked about publicly, especially miscarriages early in pregnancy. It is difficult to mourn an unborn child you have not held in your arms yet, and even more difficult if you believe you can’t talk about your grief with family or friends. Often women may avoid talking about experiencing a miscarriage even though they feel a deep connection to the life of their child.

Grief or feelings of blame after a miscarriage are very common. Talking about these emotions with your spouse, family, friends, or clergy may help you cope with them. Sometimes these thoughts will go away with time, and other times the guilt or grief may lead to long-term depression. In those cases people should seek professional help.

The Cleveland Clinic
The Mayo Clinic