Pregnancy after miscarriage
Pregnancy after a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy is often a difficult time for women and their partners. It may bring with it a mixture of hope and fear, which can be challenging to cope with.
The coronavirus pandemic may be an additional source of anxiety too. We mention that on this page and across our website, using red text to help you find it.
Coping with anxiety and other feelings about your pregnancy
You may feel mixed emotions; ranging from cautiously optimistic one day, to overwhelmingly anxious the next. You may feel on high alert, trying to detect any possible symptoms of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Being pregnant again can also sometimes be comforting, easing feelings of loss. But you might also feel guilty or worried about forgetting your last pregnancy.
Know that your feelings, whatever they are, are normal and understandable given what you have been through.
When I got pregnant again the usual joy was replaced with a ‘here we go again’ feeling.
Talking about pregnancy after miscarriage*
For some people, talking to family and friends can be a key source of support during pregnancy after loss. Early on in your pregnancy, you and/or your partner may wish to tell people who are close to you, so they can offer support if needed. But you might also feel reluctant to tell them until you are further on in pregnancy.
It was very difficult managing my anxiety throughout the whole pregnancy. The biggest help was the support of healthcare professionals and, most importantly, my husband. He was so supportive, especially when it came to the night before a scan, when he knew I was at my most anxious.
It can help to share how you are feeling with your GP, midwife or early pregnancy team. You may wish to make them aware of your earlier pregnancy loss, and discuss the possibility of additional checks and/or ultrasound scans. During the coronavirus pandemic, you may have very limited access to your GP, but your midwife and the early pregnancy team will still do their best to support you.
Access to early and regular ultrasound scans is also very likely to be limited at this time and many hospitals will allow only the woman being scanned to attend her appointment, to reduce risk. That can be upsetting, we know, but it is in order to reduce risk for you, staff and other patients. Do know that you can always telephone the early pregnancy team if you have any worrying signs or symptoms and they will advise on next steps and invite you in if they feel that’s best.
If you previously had an ectopic pregnancy, early assessment is important, either via a scan or by telephone assessment, so do contact your early pregnancy unit – see here.
An early scan may offer reassurance, but it also might not, especially if things don’t look as they should. Even if all looks well, you may still continue to worry that it may all go wrong again – an anxiety that many women and their partners have after a previous loss or losses. So sharing your thoughts and feelings with people who are, or have been, in a similar situation can bring comfort. Our online forum has a section for people who are pregnant after loss, or you may want to join our Pregnant After Loss Facebook Group. We also have a Pregnant After Loss support group.
You may also find it helpful to read Amy’s article, published in Stylist magazine at the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019.
It’s not because we’re not excited or hopeful. It’s because we are, and we’re holding our breath.
You and/or your partner can call or email our confidential pregnancy loss helpline for information and support, or if you’d just like someone to talk to – or find out about the Miscarriage Association’s other support services.
You may also consider seeking professional help, such as specialist counselling, to help you cope with difficult feelings.
What else might help
You might like to read our leaflet on pregnancy after loss which includes suggestions from women and their partners about what they found helpful when pregnant after miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.
We have a collection of stories that people have shared with us about pregnancy after loss, including these:
- Gemma share her story of being pregnant after a missed miscarriage
- Rebecca writes about her pregnancy following a miscarriage at 18 weeks
- Cathy shares her story of being pregnant after 3 losses, including a molar pregnancy
- Angie shares how she felt being pregnant after 2 losses
- Sally had 6 losses, including an ectopic pregnancy and writes about coping with her feelings during her pregnancies
In this short film Tina & Steve talk about deciding to try again after a missed miscarriage and what helped them through a very anxious new pregnancy:
We also have some thoughts from Sarah, a recurrent miscarriage nurse, about what can help during pregnancy after miscarriage.
Please remember that you are not alone and we are here to help.
* Please note that we often use the term ‘pregnancy loss’ to include miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy. But sometimes, using the word ‘miscarriage’ for all three makes it easier for people to find the information they’re looking for when using a search engine.