Let me start by saying that there is no way to prepare emotionally for a miscarriage, but there are steps that you can take to prepare physically for it.
For some women, you’ll know by ultrasound from your OB/GYN or healthcare provider that there is no heartbeat and that you’ll either need to miscarry naturally, take medication to induce labor, or schedule a D&C (Dilation and curettage) to remove the tissue from inside your uterus. For others, a miscarriage might come as a complete and utter shock. Either way it is an emotionally devastating and physically painful experience to go through.
If you are currently experiencing signs and symptoms of a miscarriage or are expecting to have a natural miscarriage, here are the ways in which you can prepare.
How to prepare for a natural miscarriage:
- Have some pain medication handy. I don’t want to scare you, but the pain can be intense. You’ll want to take it when the pain is still somewhat dull. Otherwise, you might end up feeling the worst of it before the medicine kicks in. I ended up taking some ibuprofen too late, mostly because I was still holding on the faint hope that I might not be going through a miscarriage. By the time I finally took the meds I had experienced the worst of the pain, and let me tell you – it was quite unpleasant.
- Have extra overnight super heavy sanitary pads for during the miscarriage, some regular pads for after the miscarriage, and some panty liners for when you are just spotting. You DO NOT want to use tampons!
- Wear something comfy. Pajama pants, sweats, anything that is loose fitting and easy to take on and off. Preferably something that you don’t mind getting ruined because there will be blood and a lot of it.
- I know that this might seem impossible given the circumstances but try to relax. What helped me to feel more comfortable was laying down on my bed and having my fiancé hold me.
- If laying down works for you, be sure to place a towel down directly underneath you. The towel will act as a buffer between you and the sheets to help prevent getting them messy. If you know in advance that you will be having a miscarriage, then investing in a waterproof mattress protector would be ideal. They are pretty reasonably priced and can save your expensive mattress from stains. Be sure to keep a towel(s) handy wherever you might be.
- A heating pad is also a must have, especially if you opt not to take anything for the pain.
- Keep disposable disinfecting wipes within arm’s reach in your bathroom. They will be helpful to quickly clean up any messes.
- Having flushable wipes around is also handy for cleaning yourself up quickly during bathroom trips.
- Have plenty of water and electrolyte beverages (such as coconut water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte) around. You’ll want to make sure that you stay hydrated throughout this process since you’ll be losing a lot of fluids.
- Something that I’m on the fence about is having a container nearby. There are a few websites that recommend you put what you pass in a container to bring to your healthcare provider. This would be helpful in determining if there were chromosomal issues with the development of the baby. Other women recommend doing it for personal reasons so that they can properly bury their baby. I miscarried at 8 weeks and was not prepared to have a miscarriage since I was waiting until 12 weeks to have an ultrasound. Everything hit me all at once, and I was ill prepared. I ended up rushing to the toilet to pass everything as it was happening and didn’t think to “fish” out what I passed. The next day it dawned on me that what was once growing inside of me was now working its way through the county sewage system. This thought made me cry for hours. I share this so that you can make an informed decision about how you plan to miscarry.
- If at all possible, try to have someone there with you who you feel comfortable around. Whether it is your significant other, a relative or a close friend. It makes coping physically and emotionally easier. It also makes things significantly easier if you have other children to care for since they can help watch them while you go through this process.
If you have other ways to prepare for a natural miscarriage, then please share! Know that I’m here to help inform and support those who need it.