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My Daughter lost her baby last May at 6 weeks old. She has had two miscarriages in the last 3 months. This is causing her a great disbelief that she will never carry a baby again. As her mother I am finding it hard to say the right thing to her. Please can you advise me what to say to her and in your opinion why can she not carry more than 8 weeks. Please help as I am very concerned about my daughter's mental health. Thank you Sue XXXXX-XXXXX
Hello, and thank you for your question. I will be happy to assist you. Answers are for educational purposes only.
Early losses are very difficult for all involved. For the mother, it is very tangible and it is like mourning a death. It takes time.
For others, since there was no physical involvement, the sadness is there, but the mourning is quicker and easier to recover from since it was not a tangible event.
She needs time to heal. Getting pregnant so quickly after the loss is not the answer. She probably wasn't ready after the first loss. Not physically, but emotionally.
I always tell patients that you should wait until the new pregnancy is it's own life event and not a replacement for the prior losses. She needs to appropriately mourn.
In terms of what to tell her, just be there for her. Remind her that these losses were not her fault and she could not have done anything different to prevent them.
The most common cause of early losses is a chromosomal abnormality. It is natures way of making sure that pregnancies that are not healthy, don't continue. So not all losses are bad in that regard.
The good news is that ultimately her chances of having a successful delivery in the future are really not changed by having had these two losses.
The ultimate outcomes are the same. The difficulty emotionally is the unknown and not having had a successful live birth before these losses to know to that or be comforted by this statistic.
The literature suggests waiting until three losses (by definition, that is considered recurrent pregnancy loss) before embarking on a work up to see if there is a specific reason for the losses.
Most people don't wait for the third loss, and will see a reproductive endocrinologist after two losses. They will check blood work to see if there is a hormonal problem, a blood clotting problem, a chromosomal problem (for her and her partner), etc. They can also look for evidence of medical problems or infections. Most of the time no reason is found, or if a reason is found, there is no simple solution. However, in spite of this, the information can be helpful and again, the statistics show that most people do not continue to have losses.
I think right now you just need to let her mourn and treat it like you would any death of a loved one. Support and time is what is best for her. When she is ready, then she can investigate it by seeing the reproductive endocrinologist....but at this time, I wouldn't push for another pregnancy until she has had time to mourn the losses.
I hope this is helpful. Unfortunately, as a society, we don't have a formal way to express grief and share grief for these type of losses. Mothers are often pressured to "get over it" and get pregnant again. If the family supports her and shares their grief with her and you treat it like a death of a loved one, that is often the best approach. But let her take the lead...don't push things on her.
But most important is to remind her that this was not in any way her fault. There is a natural tendency to look back and say that if I did this differently, the loss wouldn't happen. There is a lot of guilt inherent with these losses.
That is in no way true. Pregnancy is way beyond our control and sometimes that is hard to grasp.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Best of luck.
My condolences on your loss.
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