Pregnancy loss is almost inevitably followed by an intense grieving process. Some complex thoughts often emerge during this time, such as: should I try to conceive again? If so, when? The answer is different for every woman, so here’s a framework to help you contemplate these challenging questions.
There are a lot of things to consider when trying again for a baby, and it’s okay to be confused about why, when, and how to start. To determine how ready you are to start trying again, ask yourself some questions about how you’re feeling and what you want. Some of these questions could be:
- How is my emotional health? Could I benefit from counseling?
- Have I talked to my healthcare provider about whether my body is physically ready for another pregnancy?
- Does my partner also want to keep trying?
- Right now, could I handle the emotions associated with trying to conceive (TTC)?
- If your next pregnancy will be considered high risk: Am I well enough right now to handle any stress that could accompany the next pregnancy?
It really is all about you
Once you are medically cleared, there’s no right or wrong time to be ready to TTC after a miscarriage. Every woman is different in how she handles the experience, so it’s up to you to determine if you’re emotionally and physically capable of TTC again. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wait a little longer, but there’s also nothing wrong with being ready to try again earlier than you first expected.
Research suggests that pregnancy after miscarriage might be healthier if women wait less than a year to conceive again. According to Mayo Clinic, women who got pregnant again within six months of a miscarriage actually had fewer complications in their next pregnancy than did women who waited more than six months to conceive. You might not be ready to try again so soon, and that’s perfectly fine. But if you are ready, and your provider has given the go-ahead, know that it’s safe to do so.
What you’ll need
If you decide that you’re ready to try again, you’ll want to ensure that you’re physically and emotionally prepared for anything that comes your way while TTC. It’s a good idea to have all of the following in place.
- An exam from your healthcare provider: He or she will assess if you’re physically healthy and ready to try for another pregnancy.
- Support from a partner, friends, family, or a support group: You may find yourself needing people who can help you through this experience, whether they’re providing a listening ear or a ride to your provider’s office.
- Healthy lifestyle choices: Most miscarriages can’t be prevented, and a big part of healing involves understanding that the loss was no one’s fault. But taking precautions to reduce the risk of another miscarriage is always a good idea; this means not smoking, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake during pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight and taking prenatal vitamins while TTC.
Staying positive and hopeful
Most miscarriages are followed by perfectly healthy pregnancies. This being said, many women are still nervous about trying again after a pregnancy loss. As you consider and possibly move forward to start trying again for a pregnancy, take some time each day to remind yourself of your own strength, and to focus on all the love and support that you have in your life right now.