Depression & Miscarriage: Resources for Moms

Yesterday, Lisa Belkin of the New York Times' parenting blog Motherlode wrote a piece on depression after miscarriage.

I'm so glad she did, because this is such an important topic. Not only can women be depressed or suffer from anxiety after a miscarriage, but they may also suffer from postpartum depression down the road if they have another child.

I have written about this in the past, and about the specific resources available for women who suffer from depression after miscarriage. My readers, like the Bentleys, have taught me that it really helps to have resources geared directly for women who have been through a miscarriage or stillbirth. As they told me, it can be hard to sit in a group for women who have postpartum depression when those women have a baby and you don't because you lost yours. Since the Motherlode piece didn't offer them, I wanted to make sure you had a chance to see them here, so click on the link that starts this paragraph.

About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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Comments

  1. My second child was stillborn. I'm currently in the midst of my second round of ppd/ptsd after the births of my third and now fourth. It helps to remember that there are unique issues after a loss and that these feelings are not shameful. Thank you

  2. I am still convinced that I became depressed after my first miscarriage and it amplified after my second miscarriage, and because it went undetected and untreated? Full blown PPD and PPA after Eddie. And now my docs say it's not PPD anymore…it's just depression.

  3. I became deeply depressed after my miscarriage. I spent my entire pregnancy with C petrified that I would experience another miscarriage. My doctor told me that he considers my post-miscarriage depression a contributing factor to my PPD.
    I long for a day when there is no stigma attached to miscarriage or PPD.

  4. Really nice article. I am really going to check the links. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  5. Thank you ladies for your support. Cass, I too unfortunately have had a couple of those dreams. Again this was right before I started the meds. I feel so mentally drained from constantly fighting this and myself, but I am also scared to sleep in fear I might have another nightmare. Then again, this whole experience has been a nightmare. If I was the same person I was before this whole thing started, I’m not so sure I would’ve believed it to be a true disease. I’ve always been one to believe I could control pretty much anything which is why it was so hard for me to accept that I have PPD OCD. And it happened all so fast. I woke up one morning and I felt like a completely different person. The Zoloft has helped. I have the thoughts a little less frequently. I don’t get as worked up as I used to about the thoughts. Before the meds, I could spend the whole day just wrapped up in my head. Its been about 2 months since this has started, and I know its going to take time but its def been the hardest thing I have ever been through. My husband gave me a good piece of advice, he said when these thoughts occur, picture there is a raging tiger running through you and you just hug yourself and hold on as tight as you can until it passes. You are in my prayers. We will get better. It won’t be easy, but we will get there.

  6. Douglas Southerland says:

    My wife had a miscarriage on August 28th (our first miscarriage experience), and I can honestly say as a military veteran and former police officer (disabled while on duty) it was the most gut wrenching and sorrow filled day of my life. I am the strong one that always protects my family (we have 3 daughters ages 11, 8 & 6) from everything and takes care of my wife and kiddos against anything that can hurt them but nothing ever prepared me for the helplessness and utter lack of control I felt when my wife screamed for me to help her and I walked in and saw what was happening. She had been having cramps and spotting at about 5 and a half to 5 weeks in and I kept calling her OB/GYN to get a sooner appt. but they were booked solid and no other doctor could see her any sooner so we spent many a night at the ER where we were constantly told everything looked fine and to go home. As her symptoms got worse I got more frustrated with the hospital and her doctor, I know there was more than likely nothing they could have done at that point but I still feel that had her doctor double booked her based on her symptoms or squeezed her in between other patients maybe my son would have had the chance to be here with us now. To be honest, we were quite terrified when she suspected she was pregnant, a fourth child is crazy difficult to raise especially when all of them are still living at home and rely on us to take care of and nurture three of them majority of the time and a new baby requires 24/7 attention. However, we just embraced the news and decided we were going to welcome this new little one just like our three before, and we were both pretty sure it was going to be a boy so we were extra excited although we just wanted he/she to be healthy and happy. Then the 28th of August came, and there is no feeling like seeing your wife in so much pain, shock and so emotionally destroyed and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to make it go away or stop. I came into the room and after catching my breath and swallowing my own tears and choking down that lump in my throat I got my wife all cleaned up and cleaned up the room and got her into bed, I barely processed what had happened by the time she finally cried herself to sleep in my arms and I laid there the remainder of the night trying to figure out what I DID wrong. Of course I realize neither of us did anything wrong but at the time my rationale was that if I could find some kind of tangible excuse or reason behind it or even make it my fault, then my wife wouldn’t focus on what SHE might have done wrong or could have done differently; it may sound stupid now but I thought at the time even if she was mad at me at least she wouldn’t think horribly of herself or believe she was to blame. Since that day I have been trying to help her navigate her grief as best as possible and at what ever pace she needs to go while dealing with my own grief in the process and it has proven to be an extremely difficult task. If she knew how hard it is for me to choke it all down and help her she would feel awful and then she would be even more depressed and distant because she herself has said she doesn’t know what she would do if I wasn’t there for her and I’m afraid of what would happen if I was lost in grief myself, I’m afraid of what might happen and worry about my children’s quality of life while we are going through this loss. I will say this though: sexually, I am fine I mean I am ready to get back in the swing of things like normal before the miscarriage but completely understand how it must feel as a woman going through the same loss just felt in a completely different way and she knows that I am ready as soon as she feels okay to be intimate and I haven’t nagged or egged on about sex or intimacy since it happened, I just let her know I still love and am in love with her, find her sexy, attractive and a wonderful wife and mother and that nothing was her fault. I am far from perfect and still have, dare I say it, “man needs and desires” but a man can still feel that way and still be a loving provider and emotional “rock” for his wife, even if he himself can’t or doesn’t understand what his wife or partner is going through personally. That being said, I think a large majority of men simply cannot process emotions or feelings at the same level or capacity of their spouse or partner and I think a lot of women cannot grasp how some men process complex emotions like the loss of a child. I know, I’m a man and the first emotion that came to me was anger, because my wife was in pain and it was an enemy I could do nothing to stop or protect her from it and it killed me that I couldn’t make it go away and it still angers and upsets me that I can’t do anything against this intangible force that is threatening to unravel her sanity and emotionally wreck the woman I’ve loved and been in love with since I met her 15 years ago. So as far as your husband/boyfriend is concerned, I can almost promise you the issues he is having with this loss has more to do with how powerless he feels rather than his actually feelings towards you or your pregnancy and loss of your child and you have to both lean on each other instead of expecting your partner to carry all your weight; God bless them if they try too but you both need each other regardless of what gender roles or society has pounded into us how it should be, but you must recognize that there may still come a point where you have to just focus on yourself and your own grief and coping with it before you get dragged under a current so strong that you lose yourself instead of your husband or partner. Just my opinion about our struggle to cope and recover from OUR loss, and I know everyone’s situation is different and varied but I wish you all the best in this world and hope each and everyone of us finds the peace we need and deserve. God Bless.