You May Also Like

USA gymnastics news: women are not being supported

Why can’t Team USA gymnasts (and all female athletes, for that matter) catch a break lately?

What is unconscious bias? And how to identify and overcome yours

Everyone harbors implicit biases—here’s how to manually override yours

yale happiness class

How to take Yale’s ultra-popular ‘The Science of Well-Being’ course online for zero dollars

How to increase libido? Try these 7 tips from a sex expert

7 sexpert-approved ways to rev up your libido to the *most* satisfying heights

Tough Boss or Workplace harrassment

How to decipher workplace harassment from just having a tough boss

Dating someone with Anxiety

Dating someone with anxiety? Here’s a cheat sheet for how to be effectively supportive

It’s 100% normal to feel angry after a miscarriage


Thumbnail for It’s 100% normal to feel angry after a miscarriage
Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/ Wavebreakmedia

Miscarriages are a complicated topic. While we’re getting better at talking about them as a society—celebs like Carrie Underwood, soap star Melissa Claire Egan, Nick Carter, and James Van Der Beek (let’s hear it for male allies!) are helping make the subject less taboo—we still have a long way to go. And women often have no idea how to navigate the incredibly complicated emotions that come with mourning what was and what could have been.

When Underwood recently opened up about a series of three miscarriages she had over the course of two years, she shared the confusing feelings that came with them. “I had always been afraid to be angry,” Underwood admitted in an interview with CBS. “Because we are so blessed. And my son, Isaiah, is the sweetest thing. And he’s the best thing in the world. And I’m like, ‘If we can never have any other kids, that’s okay, because he’s amazing.’ And I have this amazing life…Can I be mad? No.”

Really, she can be mad, says psychologist Nicoletta Skoufalos, PhD. But Underwood’s trepidation make sense: Because pregnancy loss is something we don’t talk about nearly enough, there’s no blueprint for dealing with it the way there is for something like the death of a loved one or even a breakup.

Because pregnancy loss is something we don’t talk about nearly enough, there’s no blueprint for dealing with it the way there is for something like the death of a loved one or even a breakup.

According to Dr. Skoufalos, the response to pregnancy loss varies widely. “After experiencing a miscarriage, it’s absolutely normal to feel a great sense of loss, sadness, or irritability,” she says. “These are very normal emotions to have and do not necessarily indicate something to be concerned about, nor do they mean that the person is depressed or clinically anxious.”

She said it should be taken as a very good sign if anyone experiencing pregnancy loss wants to talk about it with others. “This is how people process the loss, and it’s also a healthy way of coping by including others into her process,” explains Dr. Skoufalos. “Tons of crying and a need for rest are very normal.”

While you should always seek the help of a mental health professional as soon as you feel you need it, this is especially important if your feelings of intense grief over a miscarriage persist after a couple months. “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) suggests that even when someone is experiencing normative grief, they might also suffer from clinical depression,” says clinical psychologist Bobbi Wegner. “As a practicing psychologist, if the parent did not have a prior diagnosis of depression or anxiety before the miscarriage, I expect many parents to start to resume more normative daily functioning by two months, give or take. If deep and functionally impairing sadness or worry remains at this time, it’s important to assess for depression and anxiety.”

“Don’t impose expectations on yourself about what’s right or wrong.” —Bobbi Wegner, clinical psychologist

Taking the time to heal is essential to the process of grieving a pregnancy loss. If you think you can bounce back into work and social life without batting an eye, you’re fooling yourself—and the healing process will likely take even longer as a result.

According to Wegner, one of the best things you can do is prioritize self-care. “Don’t impose expectations on yourself about what’s right or wrong,” she advises. “Surround yourself with people who support you and care, and consider finding a support group. Try to find some structure in your day to help manage the symptoms, paying attention to good sleep patterns, healthy food, and exercise.”

And if you feel able to talk about what happened, that can help tremendously. “This is a loss, and the mother should feel free to grieve and to have someone listen to her,” says Dr. Skoufalos.

So, what is the “normal” response to a miscarriage? There is none. Whether you’re angry, intensely sad, or simply a little bit down, try not to judge your feelings. Take time and space to heal, and know that everyone is different.

Here’s advice on how to talk about miscarriage—whether it’s you who had one or a loved one. And here are some expert-approved ways to help yourself heal after a pregnancy loss.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Tough Boss or Workplace harrassment

How to decipher workplace harassment from just having a tough boss

Is having a vegan pregnancy diet healthy? We asked a nutritionist

Is it healthy to stick to a vegan diet when you’re pregnant?

recurrent UTI

Burning question: Why does my UTI keep coming back?

Dating someone with Anxiety

Dating someone with anxiety? Here’s a cheat sheet for how to be effectively supportive

How to increase libido? Try these 7 tips from a sex expert

7 sexpert-approved ways to rev up your libido to the *most* satisfying heights

Banish poop anxiety: Talk about it with an S.O.

Everyone poops—and, wow, does my husband know it