A range of emotions
Every pregnancy loss* is different and there is no right or wrong way to feel about it. This section looks at how your loss (or threatened loss) might affect you, your partner and other people in your life.
The loss of a baby in pregnancy can be an unhappy, frightening and lonely experience. It’s not a major event for everyone, but feelings of shock, grief and loss are common.
I’ve never cried so much in my whole life. I was walking about with an empty feeling where I should have been holding my baby.
Some people find it very hard to talk about what has happened.
How you feel will depend on your circumstances, your experience of miscarriage* and what the pregnancy meant to you.
You might have miscarried in the first few weeks of pregnancy or much later, or you might have had an ectopic or molar pregnancy. You might have suspected for some time that something was wrong – or the loss may have come as a complete shock. This pregnancy might have been particularly special. And this may not be the first time this has happened to you.
Perhaps there are other issues too – like fertility problems or coping with the loss on your own. You may be worried about your chances of getting pregnant again; or about having another loss if you do. Maybe you are feeling ill or drained after a particularly difficult physical experience.
After the operation [for an ectopic pregnancy] I was in complete shock. I had just found out I was pregnant and then it was suddenly all over. Not only had I lost the baby but I also felt physically damaged.
Feelings after a miscarriage
All of these things and more will affect how you feel about your loss, immediately and over time. But whatever your circumstances, it is very common to feel any of the following:
- sad and tearful – perhaps suddenly bursting into tears without any obvious trigger
- shocked and confused – especially if there were no signs that anything was wrong
- numb – you don’t seem to have any feelings at all
- angry – at fate, at hospital staff, or at others’ pregnancy announcements
- jealous – especially when seeing other pregnant women and babies
- guilty – perhaps wondering if you might have caused the miscarriage (that’s very unlikely)
- empty – a physical sense of loss
- lonely – especially if others don’t understand
- panicky and out of control – feeling unable to cope with everyday life.
For some people, pregnancy loss can trigger mental health problems, such as clinical depression or acute anxiety, or they make make an exiting mental health problem worse. We talk about this in more details on our pages on mental health.
I get really sad and angry, then feel guilty because other women have it so much worse. I’m not sure how I should react, behave, move on.
In this short film, Tina and Steve share their feelings after miscarriage, their experience of talking about their miscarriage with others and how good support from family and friends helped them through:
Whatever your feelings, you are not alone. We hope that you will find comfort and understanding here and on the pages that follow.
* Please note that we often use the term ‘pregnancy loss’ to include miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy. But sometimes it’s simpler to use the word ‘miscarriage’ for all three.