in collaboration with BoxForLoss
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Despite nearly 25% of pregnancies ending in miscarriage and 1 in 100 resulting in stillbirth, the pain and politics of pregnancy loss is buried in silence, shame, and stigma. You are not alone.
Everyone's experience is different, and there is no right or wrong way or timeline to grieve. Whether you experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, the emotional effect from a pregnancy loss has as much a physical effect on your body and vice versa.
There are many hormones involved with pregnancy — the two hormones most often associated with miscarriage are hCG and Progesterone. Both hormones are key in supporting the pregnancy and secreted by the corpus luteum and later the placenta. When we become pregnant, these hormones rapidly increase, but when the pregnancy is terminated, the hormones levels begin to drop.
hCG will eventually become undetectable, while progesterone and estrogen will return to their pre-pregnancy levels. These drastic hormonal shifts can intensify your emotions when processing your loss. Hormones will begin to balance after miscarriage, and symptoms of early pregnancy, like nausea or tenderness in your breasts, will subside. For some, changing hormone levels can have a big impact on mental health. It’s not uncommon to experience symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, depression, or irritability post loss.
Grant yourself the time and space to grieve without judgment, honor your health in healing habits, and listen to your body’s physical and emotional needs without the need to solve everything right now.
Continue reading for 6 gentle ways to honor and help heal physical and emotional grief after losing a pregnancy.
Take a Bath
From elevating the mood, to reducing muscle tension and even detoxing properties, a warm bath can do wonders for the body, mind, and soul. Take a bath with epsom salt and essential oils. Light candles, put on some music and unwind. Throw in some aromatic Tonic for skin-softening benefits and sip on some Tincture tea to elevate your mindtime. The Sweet Orange is commonly used in aromatherapy practices to reduce stress and lift your mood but the natural antibacterial Tea Tree Oil and alkaloid rich Goldenseal Root help alleviate vulvovaginal irritation and itch related to infection, pH imbalance, and inflammation.
Nourish Your Body
Tend to your physical and emotional needs and nourish your body with a balanced diet. Consider adding a healing bone broth based soup recipe to help replenish your gut microbiome, balance electrolytes, and help you heal from the inside out. Find our Creamy Bone Broth recipe below.
Top up on your electrolytes
To maintain your electrolytes and stay hydrated, try a magnesium gel, oil, or powder. Keep in mind that most electrolyte drinks on the market are packed with sugars, food coloring, and other inflammatory ingredients. Co-founder of the Vida Well and holistic nutritionist Torie (she/her) has personally made this electrolyte drink to support your nervous system, relax muscles, assist in properly rehydrating you and help you replace your essential minerals your body needs.
Put your mind (and hands) on other things and make a homemade electrolyte recipe.
- 1 teaspoon Real salt (rich in minerals)
- 1 teaspoon Magnesium (bisglycinate instead of citrate because this form will not affect stools)
Additions: lemon (to replace potassium), raw honey or manuka honey to make it taste better
Add all of the ingredients to a 2 quart pitcher of water, herbal tea, or coconut water. You can also make it into a concentrate and keep your electrolyte mix in the fridge and add it to water as you drink it. This vial makes 2 servings which should last 4 days.
Journal it Out
Think of journaling as a less daunting introduction into meditation — being present and feeling your feelings without judgement. Writing things has been shown to help with emotional support, mental state, and mood. If you’re struggling to find the words, below are a few writing prompts:
- 5 things I am grateful for are...
- What felt challenging today? How can I view this with a positive perspective?
- What are 3 negative thoughts/feelings I’m struggling with right now? What are 3 positives I can feel instead? Check in again after reframing. How do you feel after reframing your negative feelings?
Keeping warm is important for healing post miscarriage. In fact. many cultures around the world practice postpartum belly binding. This practice increases blood flow, puts gentle pressure on your uterus to aid in quicker healing, and offers a physical support and serves as a reminder to rest. Keep your belly wrapped and socks on. You can also try a heating pad, warmed rice sock, or hot water bottle on different parts of your body.
Bone broth is another homemade recipe that can help nourish your body and keep you warm.
Creamy Bone Broth Soup
Time 45 minutes
- 3 cups bone broth (substitute vegetable broth if vegetarian add seaweed for minerals)
- 2 cup roasted squash (butternut, delicata, or acorn)
- 1-2 tablespoons healthy fat- coconut oil, ghee, butter
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional protein: Add crispy prosciutto or bacon on top, shredded chicken or ground meat for added protein
- Roast squash: Remove seeds and peel skin of squash and cut it into 2 inch cubes. Spray evenly with avocado oil spray or oil and roast in the oven at 400°F for 30 minutes or until soft. Alternatively, you could do this the night before.
- Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. If it's too thick, use broth to thin.
- Heat blended soup for 7-10 minutes or until warmed and serve topped with protein if using.
Resources & Online Support Groups
While your partner, friends, and (chosen) family are there to support you, they may not understand what you’re physically or emotionally going through if they haven’t experienced it themselves. For comfort, advice, and understanding from others who have gone or are going through a loss, there are many online communities available.
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.