Over my nearing 15 years in practice (wow that sounds really, really old!) I’ve helped hundreds (actually, that may be more like thousands) of women navigate their way through pregnancy. Pregnancy has sadly become something we’ve medicalised, because let’s be real… There’s a lot going on and there’s stuff that can certainly head in a direction we’d prefer not to put on our radar. But miscarriage, we just don’t talk about it and I’ve spent the last month or so trying to work out why. Why, in our times of need, we keep the curtain closed on something so painful and dark. I think it’s time we talked about it.
So I did.
As part of this months membership (where you get a host of goodness for less than the price of a coffee per week), I dedicated our live chat to this very subject. I wanted to understand a little more about why we thought it best to pretend life was ok after loss when it was just so painful and why we didn’t feel comfortable chatting it out. I also got some answers.
Miscarriage is considered the loss of a baby prior to 20 weeks gestation. Turns out 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage – many early, and some later in term. We don’t tend to investigate miscarriage until there has been at least three. That’s a lot of pain and suffering and even if there isn’t anything physically wrong, it doesn’t make it any less difficult.
I always like to educate my patients that there really are 2 areas to address and support when I am seeing recurrent miscarriage. That is, the embryo and the host. The host being the mother, where it’s important to ensure there is a great place for the embryo to imbed, this being that the lining is thick and ready to support implantation, without inflammation. This all lies in the health of the mother, but the embryo is much more than just the baby ‘oven.’ When we look at an embryo, it relies on the health of both the mother and the father and it’s quality rests in the two influences.
There are various types of miscarriages, typically characterised into three.
1.Threatened – when it’s a possibility but not certain.
2. Inevitable – when it will happen, it’s only a matter of time.
3. Complete – when miscarriage has already occurred and is completely final.
That’s not to forget other types of miscarriage that are more related to the embryo (or lack of), being an ectopic pregnancy (which occurs in the fallopian tube), a molar pregnancy (where it doesn’t develop) or a blighted ovum where there is a sac and the placenta grows but the baby does not.
In any case, whatever the situation, from where I stand, miscarriage is torturous to say the least and very difficult to ‘treat’ because in almost all instances, there isn’t much that can be done. Even though there may not be much that can be done at the time, it’s important to understand there is always a reason, although many papers and articles suggest that 50-70% are unexplained.
During our LIVE chat, I dug right into how best to prepare the body to prevent miscarriage, because that really is the absolute best way to tackle it. I raised the following points;
- Explore. Look at what is really going on.
- Diet. It absolutely plays a huge role and one of the reasons I wrote Well & Good – you’re guide to being fertility ready.
- Moderate movement – during early pregnancy, unless you’re already an iron woman, it’s important to keep things moving but at a low intensity.
- Smoking, caffeine and alcohol have all been linked to miscarriage.
- STRESS. (also use the code 10off to get $10 off all courses, including Debunking Stress)
- Address ongoing issues.
- Make space – we get so busy there is no room for the baby in our lives.
- Look at your mindset.
- Get acupuncture.
During the chat, I dug deep into these very points, to really explore how to best steer your body back to greater health in preparation for pregnancy and to assist in preventing miscarriage. The best part – you can still get access to the July content of the Membership for a few more days!
It was wonderful to chat through some of the members questions and concerns related to miscarriage and look at how we can support others going through loss, because let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or say. After surveying many women around miscarriage and loss (if you’d like to participate in it, it’s not too late – just a few simple questions to really help me – click here to complete the survey), it stood out that women were craving support and there were certainly areas they weren’t getting what they needed.
But what stood out most – women need support and what we do and say really counts.
Women don’t necessarily want the grand gesture, they don’t want you to say ‘it’s going to be ok’ or that ‘it happened for a good reason.’ They want a big hug, they want to know you are there for them and they want to feel that you care. And to begin with, for many, that may be all they want. It can be so hard as an outsider to know what to do or say – but ladies the pressure is off, all you need to do is be. Be with them through the difficulty and perhaps, the words “it’s unfair or I’m so sorry you have to go through this,” count the most.
I’m really keen to keep the conversation of miscarriage going, to open up the lines and to help support women through this time. Because by talking about it, we take away the ‘unknown’ and we regroup and we have others to lean on. It’s something we should totally be helping each other with and not hiding behind the facade that everything is ok. Loss is hard and shouldn’t be ignored.
Come join in the fun of The Wellness Collective Membership where a world of goodness awaits! For $17 per month, you’ll gain access to the membership community, LIVE chats, exclusive radio shows, artwork (like the one featured as part of this post), discounts and so much more. It’s your hotline to me and my tribe. I can’t wait to see you there.