Natural, Holistic Healing from Miscarriage: Practical Help for a Wounded Mother

I am so incredibly honored to have Jessica from Smartter Each Day posting today about natural healing from miscarriage. I have not personally suffered from a miscarriage, but I have many friends and readers who have. I hope this post ministers to your heart today! ~Erin

Natural, Holistic Healing from Miscarriage- a post full of practical tips the wounded mother

Guest Post by Jessica of Smartter Each Day

*Disclaimer: I am not a physician nor a nurse, and the advice offered is not intended to replace that of your doctor. Consult your doctor for health concerns.

Miscarriage is awful.

It’s unnatural. It should never happen. Everything about it feels weird, and abnormal, and just awful.

If you are reading this because you, too, have suffered, I’m so sorry.

pregnancy test

image by paschal79

I have been there. But I don’t pretend for a second to understand your experience. I hardly understand my own. I was surprised at the many different emotions I experienced.

Of course there was grief, but also fear and anxiety, guilt, regret, sadness, gratitude…

The guilt was the worst. (Isn’t guilt always the worst?) It was my fault. God didn’t think I could handle more kids. I’m not suffering in the right way. My grief is too much, or not enough, or not the “right” kind.

And here’s the most punishing blow of the a miscarriage: in addition to the emotional toil, your body is a physical, hormonal wreck.

I’m an analytical person; I always like to have a plan. But no one likes to plan for, or talk about, miscarriage. I had no idea how to recover.

And actually, I found research to be quite limited…Although I found pages and pages of websites devoted to recovery from childbirth, I found very few on how to recover naturally from miscarriage.

In the months since then, I wanted to create the resource I was looking for: natural, holistic healing from miscarriage.

Here are some treatment suggestions to deal with common issues that arise with miscarriage. {As always, consult your doctor or midwife for your own personal care needs.}

bath

image by vitiyaa

Recover from blood loss by increasing iron, folic acid, protein, and vitamins B and C in your diet.

Here are some recommended foods:

  • leafy greens,
  • eggs,
  • clams and seafood,
  • citrus
  • and lean meats.

Beef liver is also excellent, if you can eat that.

Here are a few meals you could make with those foods:

Increase fluids.

This will decrease fatigue, and help you recover from blood loss. If you’re having trouble chugging plain water, add frozen fruit or sliced citrus, or drink orange juice with vitamin C (which aids in iron absorption).

Acknowledge you are stressed, and de-stress.

Only you know what de-stresses you. Two things helped me. A day after my miscarriage my mom said, “When this is over, you and Todd are going out to dinner.” Just the thought of that fun, normal time was healing. We went to a fancy restaurant and enjoyed a much-needed date. Second, I enjoyed a luxurious healing epsom salt and lavender bath. Don’t leave out the wine (if desired) and calming music.

meat and veggies

image by Bev Lloyd-Roberts

Naturally re-balance hormones.

It came as a surprise (although it shouldn’t have) that just as I experienced hormone fluctuations after my births, I also did after my miscarriage.

I had suffered from post-partum depression, and I felt like I went through a mini-version after my miscarriage.

Several things are thought to aid in balancing hormones:

  • reducing sugar intake,
  • using quality sea salt,
  • drinking chamomile tea
  • and consuming coconut oil (stir into coffee or tea, spoon into oatmeal or saute with veggies).

Mostly, it helped me to remember: my hormones are going crazy right now, but it will get better soon.

Sleep, and sleep well.

Easier said than done, right? Like most moms, I struggle with feeling exhausted and am always trying to boost my energy levels.

I found myself extra fatigued after my miscarriage, and I spent a month or so napping when my kids were napping, going to bed earlier, and not over-exerting myself. Slowly I began to feel better.

Watch for, and treat, depression.

For obvious reasons, depression is common after miscarriage.

A commonly-prescribed herb for depression is St. John’s wort. Counseling and moderate daily exercise also help.

I found that after two weeks of even taking a brisk daily walk, I felt happier and more energetic.

Deal with anxiety if it arises.

I struggle with anxiety regularly, so it was not a surprise that it began to rear its awful head during the weeks to follow my miscarriage.

It was helpful just to admit it – that I’m feeling anxious and out-of-wack because I’m still struggling with miscarriage. Recently, I read that red raspberry leaf tea can help adjust hormones due to anxiety.

White and purple Flower - Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

image by Andreas Krappweis

Use common sense, and let your body heal.

Just as in childbirth, your body has experienced a trauma.

Here are some blunt (but important) tidbits for physical healing:

  • To prevent infection, don’t use tampons or have intercourse until you’ve stopped bleeding.
  • Don’t do long runs, bike rides, or heavy lifting while you’re still recovering.
  • Expect the bleeding to last a week at least, but up to several weeks.
  • Don’t try to get pregnant again for a few cycles.
  • And of course, R.E.S.T. (See above!)

Grow hope.

I know this isn’t as “practical,” but a friend offered to me the beautiful idea of planting a tree or plant outside. I loved the thought of of a visible reminder of our loss, and that the Lord is good, and brings beauty out of pain.

Have you suffered a miscarriage? What is one thing you would say or offer to a woman who is facing miscarriage? What are some natural helps for miscarriage healing?

 

jessica bio picBio: Jessica Smartt is a former middle-school teacher who lives in beautiful North Carolina. You can find her blogging at www.smarttereachday.com where she enjoys poking fun at the everyday challenges of motherhood, sharing delicious allergy-free recipes, and rejoicing that God still loves her no matter what phobia she has recently developed. She is blessed beyond belief with two Smartt little boys and a husband who can fix anything.

 

Top Image by lusi

 

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Comments

  1. says

    YES! I had a miscarriage before our first child was born, so I really didn’t know/understand much about birth and the after-effects. A day after I miscarried we made a 2-day trip from SC to AZ to care for 7 of my nieces & nephews for a week. I just assumed that once the miscarriage was over life would get back to normal. That was 2.5 years ago and reading your post just explained so much of what I went through/felt. I wish I had read this then!
    One thing I would say, may not be for everyone, but for me it was healing/helpful to have other people know about my miscarriage. I really experienced the loving body of Christ in a way I never had before. I felt the ministry of the body and I felt like God had entrusted me with the gift of being able to empathize with others who had suffered similarly. If I hadn’t experienced this I would be clueless how to comfort/pray for other people.
    Naomi recently posted..The Very Hungry Caterpillar PartyMy Profile

  2. Stacey M says

    I have suffered from two miscarriages, both of which were more difficult for me than for my husband! It makes sense, but added to the pain, because I felt so completely alone in what I was feeling. After our second miscarriage, he had the wonderful idea of writing letters to each of the babies (whom we had named Glory and Trust) to let them know how I felt. We then folded the letters up like little boats, visited a nearby creek, and watched the boats float down the river slowly as we hugged and I cried. It was amazingly healing for me to have a tangible way to “let them go”. Blessings to all the other moms who are experiencing this pain.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your story…what a great idea with the letters. I hope some other moms can be blessed by that as well!

    • Jesse says

      Thank you for sharing this. I just recently miscarried and feel I’ll, at some point, need a tangible way of letting the baby go. I’m not sure that I’m ready for that yet, but it sounds like it could help me with some healing.

  3. Carissa says

    What a great post. I think your thoughts on depression are absolutely spot on. After my third miscarriage, I experienced profound depression that lasted for 2 years. It had never occurred to us to possibly see a doctor and get help treating it like one would do with post-partum depression and I think it would have helped immensely.

    One thing I struggled with as a post-miscarriage mom was struggling to have to go back to my normal life and resume all my normal responsibilities as if nothing had happened. Offering a woman relief from her regular duties – taking any other kids she has for a day to give her some time to herself, providing a meal so she doesn’t have to cook, giving her time off from work can help her have some time to process her emotions and rest instead of feeling like she has to pretend everything is okay in order to get things done and running herself ragged at a time where her body needs extra rest in order to recover.

  4. says

    Shared this article on my FB timeline where it is already ministering to many of my mama friends. So well written! Several of my friends have suffered from miscarriage. I have, too. It’s very hard. We women don’t talk about it much, so young mothers who go through it are often surprised by how agonizing it is to lose a baby, even quite early in a pregnancy. I can tell you that it rocked my world, shattered my faith, left me sobbing harder than my worst breakup in college… but time heals. I realize this will sound a bit pagan, but I like to think that my vivacious, crazy, energetic daughter who was conceived 6 months after my loss, that her soul simply needed a stronger body, because it was confirmed that my first never even had a heartbeat. They said it was just a “blighted ovum.” Other times, I remember how real that baby felt to me. I named him Noah for the flood of tears the rainbow promise of new beginnings. If “he” was a true soul, I hope to meet him one day in heaven. #dontjudgemypain #beKINDtohurtingmothers
    Bethany Learn – Fit2B Studio recently posted..Butterflies, Squatting & ResultsMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much for sharing on FB, Beth & thanks for sharing your own story and giving other mamas a glimpse of your pain. You are a blessing!

  5. says

    Yes, this is important too, but what about those who suffer from infertility? Or debilitating endometriosis for over a decade? Hysterectomy? Multiple surgeries? Endometriosis that comes back after hysterectomy that was thought gone? Pain and suffering who desperately want a child when other people can have babies for free when we have to buy them??? That is what angers and depresses me… I equate miscarriage and the death of a child to infertility and the death of a million eggs that will never be…

    • says

      I am so sorry it sounds like you are dealing with infertility, Serenity. I truly cannot even begin to imagine your pain. I think there is no way to compare miscarriage, infertility, stillborn and the birth of a child with an chronic disease, etc. They are ALL painful. The pain of infertility does not diminish the pain of miscarriage. The woman who has miscarried may have experienced both…to have had the brief hope of meeting a child here on earth and then to have that hope lost.

      We each have different life trials. One is not better or worse than the other.

      I pray you receive peace and comfort and healing!

    • says

      Serenity,
      Thank you for your honest comments. I am so, so sorry for the struggles that it sounds like you are facing. I wrote this article specifically because after I miscarried, I didn’t find a good resource for the physical healing needed specifically for miscarriage. Erin was gracious enough to post it here for all her readers who may also need this information. This is no way diminishes the struggles so many (many of my dear friends included are facing.)
      This post of Erin’s came to mind: http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/rejoicing-and-mourning-on-mothers-day.html … I remember reading it and feeling sympathetic to ALL women and their struggles, yours included.
      Jessica recently posted..Are Your Sundays Missing Rest & Freedom? Take the Sunday Challenge With MeMy Profile

  6. Jenny J says

    Our small little one passed almost 7 years ago and since then two more miscarriages. Our first was born at 7.5 months gestation, he lived for 36 hours. Then left us. I was at more peace about our little boy we lost than my husband or my father. I could understand why and how. And understood that G-d was in control. The next two were the trials for me. The second was right after we moved to university so my husband could go to school. It was early about 9 weeks or so. It racked me with feelings I wasn’t sure I could come out of. He (my husband) couldn’t understand. The last I was not even aware I was expecting. It was our last semester at university. I thought I was getting a really bad period. I was so wrong. It has been almost 3 years since. I am finally at peace with all of the blessings passed. My faith is fiercer, my relationship with hubby is stronger.

    “I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
    you will nurse and be carried on her arm
    and dandled on her knees.
    As a mother comforts her child,
    so will I comfort you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
    When you see this, your heart will rejoice
    and you will flourish like grass;
    the hand of the L-RD will be made known to his servants,
    but his fury will be shown to his foes.
    -Isaiah 66:12-14

  7. says

    We had a miscarriage two year ago.
    It was heartbreaking. We had just
    announced we were about three weeks
    not realizing it was just too soon to say.
    And three weeks earlier, my body
    rejected what was the making of an embryo.

    However, my OBGYN re-assured me
    50% of women have miscarriages and that
    they I wait two cycles and start trying again.
    Sure enough we did and I had a beautiful
    and healthy baby girl almost a year ago.

    In a way, we comforted ourselves and realized
    that maybe we weren’t ready even though we
    wanted to get pregnan.t and in many other
    ways, it was my body doing what it does
    naturally and that it wasn’t meant to be.

    Either way, we were blessed and everyone
    see’s how much joy we have and all the people
    who meet us share within our joy.

  8. 514625 says

    Thank you for this. I just lost my first baby and had a d&c two days ago. I was ten and a half weeks but the baby had stopped growing just shy of eight weeks. I don’t even know the details of all of it yet, but they thought I was having a molar pregnancy but then found a normal baby as well. I went from thinking I was pregnant to being told there wasn’t a baby, but just a lot of abnormal tissue (I was measuring 14 weeks at 10 and a half), to finding out after I woke up that there really was a baby. I wish I could have seen it on an ultrasound. I’m pretty devastated. I understand the pain with infertility too as I have PCOS and it took us 18 months to conceive. I’m trying to let myself grieve but still function and be conscious of how everything is affecting my husband as well. We were both very excited. I feel like I just have no idea what to do, and like I don’t know what God wants from me for this time. Sometimes I feel so thankful to have had the little bit of a pregnancy experience that I had, thankful for the time I had with the baby (even though I was pretty sick for most of it), and just thankful that I was able to get pregnant at all. It was a very happy time. Then sometimes I just wish I could die too. I’m really struggling too because we’ll have to wait 6-12 months to try again. Not that I feel like I’ll be ready to try again any time soon after this, but the thought of having to prevent it (something I’ve never done in my life, nor had any desire to) breaks my heart. I very badly want another baby, but I’m so afraid of it happening again. Anyway, this was helpful, as were the other readers’ comments. Thank you.

    • says

      I am so sorry to hear your story. How heart-breaking. I, too, understand a little bit of that agony in *having* to wait. I know this sounds so cliche to say, but for me, during the very dark and horrible times in my life, Christian counseling has been so powerful. There is a link I know of where you can find a Christian counselor in your area… You can email me at jessicasmartt at gmail.com if you’re interested. I’ll dig it up. I know that in no way eliminates the pain you’re feeling, but I know for me it helped me to get through those extremely hard times. Saying a prayer for you.
      Jessica recently posted..Dear Friend Who Is StrugglingMy Profile

  9. S. Hanna says

    A close friend of mine gifted us with a tree to plant in honor of the baby we lost–it is the most meaningful gift I’ve ever received and has brought so much comfort as we have watched it grow.

  10. Debbra W says

    Dear sisters in life, you must know that miscarriages are truly normal. All animals have them in the same proportion that we humans do. I suffered eight miscarriages during my early twenties. I finally had my first child on my 30th birthday. I was told that I should be thankful that I did not carry each pregnancy to term. The child would surely have been quite sickly, or worse. It is sad, upsetting and miserable to go through a miscarriage, but find someone to talk to who will give you all the hugs you need. Know that Heavenly Father watches over all of us and miscarriages are a part of His plan. I’m okay and I’ll pray for each one of you.

  11. says

    I have not had a miscarriage, but losing my preemie son after going into preterm labor in my second trimester has given me a tiny window into that world. Acknowledging that a miscarriage is a death, a loss of a person in your family, does wonders for the healing process.

    I would add to your list finding ways to care for your soul. Whether you plug in with a religious group, find some good reading resources (I strongly recommend Holding Onto Hope), or doing some art therapy (check out Beryl Ayn Young’s Illuminate Photography Class), its important to acknowledge that not only is your body, mind and heart tired, but your soul needs rest, too.

    I’m a huge advocate of Still Standing Magazine, and online magazine/support group for women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death or infertility. They have many great resources and thoughtful bloggers that have been instrumental to me as I’ve mentally, emotionally and spiritually processed the death of a child.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Blessings on all of those who have a missing piece in their families. <#
    Amanda Zambrano recently posted..Quilting WeekendMy Profile

  12. L. says

    Thank you for writing this article. We had our first pregnancy and an early miscarriage this past week. Reading your words and seeing reader’s responses is very comforting. It is very validating to know I am not alone in the emotions and thoughts I have been experiencing in a roller coaster of a month. I hope many others stumble across this page like I did! Again, thank you and God Bless.

  13. lynaia says

    I went through a miscarriage in Feb. My body has been off since. What remedies will help level the hormones. I’ve heard iron can help. Is this true?

  14. carolyn says

    Wow, thank you for those beautiful words. I have just suffered a miscarriage. It helps to know you are not alone. Thank you for the wonderful tips. I have planted my tree of hope.

  15. Belinda says

    Thank you for writing this article and for all the people that have shared their experiences.
    My husband and I had been tying to get pregnant for 16 months after I has been diagnosed with PSOS. We finally fell
    Pregnant and were so thrilled. Unfortunately at 10 weeks I suffered a miscarriage. It was the saddest time of my life. Not to mention exhausting. Not only emotionally but also physically.
    We are holding into the hope that God knows the desires of our hearts and Hie plans and timing are perfect. I am so happy that there are people out there that are not afraid or ashamed to talk a out miscarraige. Thank you

  16. Kim says

    After 2 easy pregnancies, we had a miscarriage at 10.5 weeks. I was shocked when the u/s showed no heartbeat. The next day I woke up actively miscarrying and spent the next 5 hours losing more blood than I ever imagined one could lose! Friends & family surrounded us, took the older kids, brought meals, flowers, came to cry and hold us. I was amazed at God’s love for us poured out through our friends. The physical healing took so much longer than I ever would have guessed. I think that’s what I’d want women to know most…it will take weeks to feel physically normal. For two weeks I was too weak to do much of anything, and I’m not exactly wimpy! And another 5-7 weeks to regain strength. Let your body heal, give it time! For those supporting someone else who has miscarried, just show up! Don’t ignore the topic. You don’t need fancy speeches. Just be there, with flowers, a meal, a hug. One dear friend called last week to say she was thinking of me, asked how far along I would have been (20 weeks…starting to feel movement). That call, and her acknowledging that our baby was a loss others were grieving with us, and that others still remembered our baby is a treasure I will hold dear my entire life. Let grieving moms (and dads) know their baby is not forgotten. Miscarriage is a topic nobody talks about. Post-birth and even post-abortion websites abound, but there is so little on miscarriage. Thanks for this post, I pray others find it to help heal their broken hearts.

    Reply

  17. Brittany says

    This is exactly the kind of article I was just searching for. I have two little boys with whom I had very typical, easy, healthy pregnancies. I never expected to suffer a miscarriage. My family and I are missionaries overseas and were so excited when we found out we were expecting #3. I was 11 weeks when I went in to hear my baby’s heartbeat. The doctor spent all of 5 minutes with me (I was alone, because my husband had to be with my two other kids) and there was no care or sympathy. Everything was handled so matter of factly. The baby stopped growing at 6 weeks and had no heartbeat. I wanted to miscarry naturally. We were 4 hours from home (that’s where the private hospital is) and staying in a hotel. It was miserable. We decided to head home after what I thought the worst was over and just before we left, I started hemorrhaging. I had to go to the hospital and get a D & C. I’m so frustrated by the whole experience, but also frustrated that I’m having to rest and can’t really help my husband take care of our box and everything around the house. We are very much alone where we are so while we have an outpouring of love and support from everyone back in the States, there’s no one to help with meals or kids or anything. And no one here really gets it. I’m getting comments like, “You already have 2 kids, just be grateful.” Or, “It’s okay, you are young.” As if that helps with the pain of losing a child. There’s still so much I’m still trying to sort out and I just want it to all be over. I want to give myself time to heal and rest and grieve, but I also feel like that’s not possible given our environment. So many feelings and so many things I have to sort through. Thank you for this practical help.

  18. Kalimah Yusuf says

    Thank you so much for this post! Experiencing such a loss can be a lonely and stressful time but reading this post has really helped me to feel so much more hopeful <3 I feel uplifted , empowered and hopeful. Thanks .

  19. April says

    I had a 3 yr old at home and happily found out I was pregnant with our second child. At the first ultrasound I found out it was twins. And also that the heart rates were abnormally low. The NP said it “doesn’t look promising”. I still held out hope because I felt God could do anything. I had one ultrasound a week for the next few weeks and on the 10th week there was no heartbeat. I was devastated. I chose to wait and let my body abort naturally but then after a week I began to get creeped out that I was carrying dead babies around inside me. It was gross and just prolonged my emotional pain. I finally elected to have a D&C done and although it was pretty terrifying (I had never had any type of surgery and was 36 at the time) I was so relieved when it was over and done. Thank God we had not told anyone about the pregnancy besides close family. My hormones were all over the place, I was a total mess. I did not want to go anywhere or see anyone and I especially did not want to go to church. I was pissed off at God. I felt like he was punishing me and that He could have saved my babies, but He didn’t. I had one period then tried to get pregnant again, all I wanted was to be pregnant. Well, it worked (turns out me and hubby are extremely fertile) and we had a beautiful healthy baby girl in June 2013. Carra has helped to heal my miscarriage wounds, but the experience changed me forever, mostly for the better because it taught me not to waste any time on things that are not important to me or the betterment of my family. It also changed my mind on letting my 3 yr old sleep in our bed…I discovered life is too short for babies to always sleep in their own bed! I am now 34 weeks pregnant with our third child and thankful every day for my daughters, they make me so very happy. I am also tight with God again :)

  20. Erica Bawell says

    I am 5 weeks post-miscarriage. Most of the time I’m ok but then someone will make a ridiculous comment and I’m sent back to the event. Lost our baby at 10 weeks pregnant, baby didn’t grow beyond 6 weeks gestation, and no heartbeat. I passed him/her naturally. Journaling has been my biggest help. Even a lifesaver, emotionally. Also, my husband doesn’t quite understand although he’s “understanding” towards me. Also, with telling people close to me, sometimes they think that they can bring it up whenever they want. I’d rather not talk about it. So, to get my thoughts out without someone giving an unwanted opinion, JOURNALING has been my saving grace. Blessings to you all during the long or short healing. I’m thankful for the Spirit of God for putting me in touch with the right people and ideas.

  21. says

    Thank you for sharing this. This is all very relevant to me right now, because I just miscarried our first baby a little over 3 months ago. I definitely agree that there isn’t enough practical info on the web about healing physically from a miscarriage. I felt like my heart had no chance of beginning to heal until my body healed first. I’m going to start implementing your advice today–especially the tips for re-balancing hormones. Thank you again.
    Jane @ Devoted Sonriser recently posted..God Created Us {31 Days of Trusting God Through the Storm}My Profile

  22. Allison says

    I had a miscarriage in January of this year. It was a total shock after having two normal/healthy pregnancies and births. I struggled with every “symptom” described especially wondering if I was grieving “correctly”. I went straight back to work a few days later to every co workers surprise. Being out of the house, anywhere at all, was better than being at home, but soon began to worry that people thought I was being insensitive. Now, I know that was just in my head. I’ve seen people deal with it in different ways. I love the idea of planting a tree, wish I would have thought of that. Instead, I decided a couple weeks after miscarriage that I wanted to do something in honor of my angel baby, something I couldn’t have done had I been pregnant. I ended up taking a trip to Guatemala and helped build a house for a mother and her two daughters. What a blessing.

  23. Ariel says

    Very good tips. I would definitely add, though this is hard to make happen on your own, to ask for meals to be dropped off. My church community surrounded me with support, and these gifts were very helpful. Instead of making food while my son napped, I could process what had happened to me, journal, grieve. That was very important for me to do, emotionally. Also, reach out. You don’t have to do this alone. Talking with other women who have gone through it is very healing.

  24. Mom of 8 - 4 here, 4 above says

    I’ve miscarried 4 times – two were very early miscarriages, too early for a pregnancy test but with all the pregnancy symptoms and then an unusual “period” with cramps which I never have anymore.

    The two babies that I carried long enough to get a positive test, it was healing for me to name them. I never found a body either time, but I went with my “gut” feeling on which gender they were. I can think about – or talk about – Wyatt or Esther without calling them “the miscarriage.”

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