Fertility Blog

Understanding Blame, Guilt, and Questions After a Miscarriage

It’s estimated that one in four pregnancies in the United States ends in miscarriage every year. Although conversations about pregnancy loss have become more common in recent years, many families have yet to speak openly about their experiences. With pregnancy loss being so common, it’s very possible that someone you know has had one or more miscarriages, even if they don’t talk about it publicly.

Sometimes, this silence stems from feelings of guilt. There are several reasons why a miscarriage can occur, but very few have to do with someone doing something wrong. The vast majority of cases of pregnancy loss are attributed to factors well beyond a woman’s control. Most miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities or unknown factors.

Most doctors will not seek to perform testing after a miscarriage unless there is a known family or personal medical history to consider or there have been three concurrent miscarriages. Regardless, even with a doctor confirming there is no place for blame and the logical knowledge that there was nothing you did or should have done to prevent a miscarriage, there are often still many emotions to work through.

Blame, guilt, and questions

In the absence of having someone to blame for a painful moment, we can turn inward. Women who have experienced a miscarriage will blame themselves and feel tremendous guilt even when such emotions are, from a logical perspective, completely uncalled for. There will be questions running through the mind such as, what if I ate something or drank something that was bad for the baby? Or, maybe I never should have attended that exercise class or gone on that work trip. Questions and speculation are common, but they can prolong grief to an unhealthy degree. There is no rush to move forward, you must do so at your own pace, but cycling blame and trying to pinpoint a mistake you likely did not make is unfair and unkind to your own mental health.

Moving forward

Just as there is no correct manner of grieving, there is no right way to move forward. You and your partner (if applicable) need to do what is best for your situation. If that means trying for another pregnancy soon or deciding to take a break, then that is entirely your call. Depending on how far along you were during the pregnancy or if any medical intervention was needed, your doctor may suggest taking some time to heal physically as well.

Ultimately, many women who experience a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages go on to have healthy babies. For those who struggle from recurrent miscarriages or have difficulty conceiving after a pregnancy loss, there are a number of fertility treatments available to pursue.

If you have questions or would like to connect with our staff to schedule a consultation, please contact Washington Fertility Center today.