July 4, 2024

Common Post-Miscarriage Emotions: Coping with Grief, Anxiety, Depression and Beyond

We will explore the myriad emotions you might be navigating through miscarriage.

Table of Contents
Common Post-Miscarriage Emotions: Coping with Grief, Anxiety, Depression and Beyond

Miscarriage is a heartbreaking detour on the path to parenthood that leaves many women and their partners grappling with a whirlwind of emotions. It's a silent storm that brews within, commonly dismissed or misunderstood by others who haven’t shared this experience.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage or pregnancy loss at any stage, please know you are not alone - up to 25% of all pregnancies (1 in 4) end in miscarriage, making it a common, yet often silent, grief. 

It's essential to recognize that the feelings experienced post-miscarriage are valid, real, and shared by millions of women and their partners around the world, myself included. 

In this guide, we will explore the myriad emotions you might be navigating, help identify when additional support may be beneficial, and provide resources to aid in the healing process. Unpacking these emotions, understanding their origins, and learning how to navigate through them with love is a crucial step towards healing, so let’s dive in.

Shock Caused by Miscarriage

A miscarriage can be a deeply shocking and distressing event. The sudden loss of a pregnancy can shatter the anticipated joy and plans for the future, leaving women in a state of disbelief. The shock can leave you feeling numb, detached, or in a state of denial initially.

The shock of miscarriage may be exacerbated by the physical experience of the loss, which can be painful and frightening. Individuals might find it hard to comprehend what has happened, especially if the miscarriage occurs without any prior warning signs or symptoms.

Alternatively, for those like myself who experience a missed-miscarriage, it can be extremely shocking to arrive for your ultrasound, filled with anticipation to see your little “bean” for the first time, only to hear the words, “I’m sorry…there’s no heartbeat.” 

It may take some time for the reality of the miscarriage to truly sink in. The stark contrast between envisioning a future with a new baby and the sudden loss can be jarring and incredibly difficult to process.

In the hours, days, and weeks following the miscarriage, as the shock begins to wear off, women may experience a range of other emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, or anxiety. 

Feeling Angry After Miscarriage

Anger post-miscarriage can be a fiery emotion directed inward or outward. For example, women might feel anger towards their bodies for what they may perceive as a betrayal or failure. They may also harbor anger towards medical professionals, especially if they feel that their concerns were dismissed or not adequately addressed. 

You are not alone: A shocking 79% of women said they felt like a failure after losing a pregnancy.

Additionally, anger might be directed towards others who appear to have what they have lost. For instance, seeing others who are pregnant or have recently had children can provoke feelings of envy and anger. 

There can be instances where individuals feel anger towards their partners or close family members, either for perceived insensitivity or for the inability to fully understand the depth of their grief. 

It's not uncommon for women to feel isolated in their grief, and this can exacerbate feelings of anger and frustration. Societal expectations or comments from others about when to "move on" or about trying for another pregnancy can also trigger anger.

Anger may manifest in various ways including irritability, frustration, or outbursts of rage. It may also manifest as a chronic undercurrent of annoyance or resentment. These manifestations can affect personal relationships, work, and overall quality of life. It’s a complex emotion that may coexist with other feelings such as sadness, guilt, or despair.

Anger is a valid and natural emotion that, when acknowledged and expressed healthily, can be a cathartic part of the healing process. It's a step towards accepting the reality of the loss and working through the emotions that ensue.

Feeling Guilty About a Miscarriage

Guilt can manifest in various ways and can be directed toward oneself or others. Some women may harbor feelings of self-blame, feeling as though they did something wrong to cause the miscarriage, despite the fact that almost all miscarriages are caused by factors beyond our control.

I know for me, after my miscarriages I immediately thought, “Did I workout too hard? Could I have eaten better? Should I have taken some supplement that could have prevented this?”   

You are not alone: 70% of women surveyed after miscarriage said they felt guilty about the miscarriage.

Our minds instinctively want to find somewhere to place blame, and sadly, we often resort to blaming ourselves. 

The feelings of guilt may also intertwine with thoughts of inadequacy or failure. Individuals might feel as though they have failed “as a woman,” or believe that they've let their partner, family, or themselves down. 

This guilt may be exacerbated by societal or personal expectations around pregnancy and parenthood, making the emotional landscape post-miscarriage even more challenging to navigate. 

Some women might experience guilt about their emotional reactions to the miscarriage. They might feel guilty for feeling relieved, especially if the pregnancy was unintended or if there were known health issues. On the other hand, they might feel bad for feeling devastated about the loss, particularly if they perceive others around them as being more resilient or coping "better" with the loss.

Education about the common causes of miscarriage and understanding that they are typically out of your control may help in alleviating guilt. It can also help to share your feelings with a group of women who are going through shared experience, like in our private pregnancy loss Facebook Group

Feelings of Jealousy and Unfairness After Miscarriage

The experience of a miscarriage can trigger feelings of jealousy, particularly towards individuals who are pregnant or have recently had children. When faced with reminders of what could have been, it's natural to feel a pang of jealousy, even if these feelings are towards loved ones. 

Jealousy can be accompanied by guilt, as you might judge yourself harshly for harboring such emotions. But it's crucial to understand that feeling jealous does not make you a bad person; it's simply a reflection of your longing and the pain of your loss.

The feeling of victimization or injustice can emerge as well, particularly when faced with reminders of what has been lost. This sense of unfairness can become particularly acute when seeing others celebrating. Like, that feeling of your heart dropping when you receive a baby shower invitation…

Or feeling tears well up when you scroll by another pregnancy announcement… 

Or feeling utterly resentful when that high school friend posts a birth announcement.  

It can also be very difficult to see women we perceive as "less deserving" have successful pregnancies and healthy babies - for example, women who were not trying to become pregnant, or those who partake in unhealthy activities like drinking or smoking while pregnant.

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and this could not be more true for those of us experiencing miscarriage. The world can seem particularly unfair when scrolling through social media. 

It may feel like a stark reminder of the miscarriage and the hoped-for future that was lost with it. Many women find themselves wondering why they had to experience such loss while others are celebrating new life. Life can feel so unfair at times.

Such feelings of victimization may be compounded by a sense of helplessness or loss of control over one's own reproductive journey. 

Coping with jealousy and unfairness

If you feel this way, you are NOT alone. Remember, up to 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but social media is reserved by most for sharing their “highlight reel” and not their struggles.

Finding coping strategies to navigate social situations or digital spaces that trigger feelings of victimization can also be beneficial. This might include limiting exposure to social media. 

It can be helpful to be part of a group of other women who are going through a shared experience, where you can vent and feel validated and supported. We invite you to join our private Facebook group, here. 

Feeling Lonely or Isolated After Miscarriage

Miscarriage, despite being such a common occurrence, can often be a very isolating experience.

One of the primary facets of this loneliness can stem from the personal nature of the loss. The grief experienced is unique and may be difficult for others to fully comprehend, especially if they have not gone through a similar loss themselves. 

Women may feel a disconnect between their own emotional reality and the reactions or expectations of others. Friends and family may unintentionally minimize the loss, saying things like, “well at least you can get pregnant,” or, “just try again,” or, “it wasn’t meant to be.” (Would you believe that 84% of women were told that by well-meaning loved ones after miscarriage?)

Next, the societal stigma surrounding miscarriage can exacerbate feelings of loneliness. Despite the fact that miscarriage is becoming more openly talked about, it can still be a taboo or uncomfortable topic for many. This can lead to a lack of open discussion, making those who have experienced a miscarriage feel as if they must cope in silence. 

You are not alone: 85% of women who experienced a miscarriage said that they didn’t think people understood what they had gone through. 

The experience can even put a distance on our closest relationships, when we feel our friends and family don’t understand or aren’t supportive enough. 67% of women felt like they couldn’t even talk to their best friend about it.

Social situations can further highlight feelings of loneliness, especially when encountering others who are pregnant or have young children. Such encounters can serve as painful reminders of the loss, and individuals may feel alienated or out of place in social settings.

Seeking supportive environments where emotions can be expressed openly and without judgment can be instrumental in alleviating feelings of loneliness. This support can come from counseling, support groups, online communities, or compassionate loved ones. 

Through sharing experiences and connecting with others who understand, we can find solace and a sense of community amidst the healing journey following a miscarriage.

Sadness and Grief After Miscarriage

The spectrum of sad emotions post-miscarriage is a continuum that reflects the depth and breadth of the emotional impact a miscarriage can have. On one end, feeling down, emotional, or low is incredibly common. On the other end, severe depression is a more enduring and intense emotional state that can affect every aspect of one's life. 

The grieving process post-miscarriage is a journey through the sea of “what could have been” scenarios. It’s mourning the loss of the unique life that was growing inside you, the loss of the envisioned future, and the identity shift that often accompanies pregnancy.

The pain around pregnancy loss is deeply personal and is often misunderstood or minimized by others. But please know that no matter how far along your pregnancy was, your pregnancy was real and your grief is justified and valid. 

Depression After Miscarriage

Depression is a mental state that can significantly affect your daily functioning, outlook on life, and overall well-being. The loss of a pregnancy can trigger a type of grief-induced depression.

You are not alone: 55% of women presented symptoms of depression after miscarriage. If you think you might be experiencing depression symptoms, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Can you have postpartum depression after a miscarriage?

The short answer is YES. When we talk about postpartum depression (PPD), the discussion typically centers around the period following childbirth. However, it's crucial to broaden this discussion to include the emotional and psychological aftermath of miscarriage as well.

Miscarriage can trigger a form of postpartum depression. The hormonal changes that occur in a woman's body during pregnancy don't simply vanish with the loss of pregnancy; they undergo a process as they return to their pre-pregnancy state. This hormonal shift can significantly impact mood and emotional well-being, potentially leading to symptoms akin to those experienced in PPD. 

Potential indicators for depression:

  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless for most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities that were once enjoyable.
  • Unintended weight loss or weight gain, or changes in appetite.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much).
  • Feeling tired nearly every day or having a lack of energy.
  • Harboring feelings of worthlessness or guilt, often about things that wouldn't normally cause such feelings.
  • Having trouble making decisions, concentrating, or remembering things.
  • Observable restlessness or slowed behavior.
  • Frequent thoughts about death, dying, or suicide.
  • Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment.
  • Feeling irritable or frustrated, often over matters that normally wouldn't bother you.
  • Withdrawing from social situations and activities.
  • A decrease in productivity at work or school.
  • Neglecting personal hygiene or responsibilities.
  • Feeling that things will never get better or that nothing will ever change.

If you have some of these symptoms and feel you may be suffering from depression, it's important to seek professional evaluation. There are tools available to help you through this.

Receive a professional evaluation or discover how one-on-one therapy can help:

We invite you to a free 15-minute consultation. At Goodnatal, our therapists and mental health professionals specialize in helping women navigate through miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 

Anxiety and Fear after Miscarriage

Anxiety is another common emotion that may manifest post-miscarriage. The fear of another miscarriage, anxiety about future pregnancies, or even generalized anxiety about one’s health or life can become overwhelming. The future that once seemed bright and hopeful may now appear fraught with uncertainties.

Anxiety can manifest physically through symptoms like a racing heart, a tight chest, or an unsettled, fluttery stomach. The mental symptoms might include incessant worry, racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, or a constant fear of the future.

You are not alone: 25% of women reported moderate to severe anxiety after miscarriage. And in cases of recurrent miscarriage (2 or more miscarriages), 72.7% of women AND 66.3% of their male partners were found to have a risk of anxiety.

The intertwined emotions of anxiety and depression, when experienced in tandem, can create a cyclical pattern where one feeds into the other, potentially intensifying the emotional turmoil. 

Being aware of common signs and symptoms can be helpful. If you or someone you know is experiencing several of the following symptoms, it might be a good idea to seek professional support:

Potential indicators for anxiety:

  • Excessive Worrying: Constant worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities, where the worry is out of proportion to the situation.
  • Restlessness: Feeling keyed up or on edge, or a feeling of being unable to relax.
  • Fatigue: Feeling easily fatigued or tired.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Mind going blank or finding it hard to focus on tasks.
  • Irritability: Feeling irritable or easily annoyed.
  • Muscle Tension: Muscle soreness or tension, including clenching or grinding teeth.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restless and unsatisfying sleep.
  • Panic Attacks: Sudden episodes of intense fear or terror that peak within minutes.
  • Avoidance Behavior: Avoiding situations or places because they cause you anxiety.
  • Excessive Fear: Being easily scared or having an exaggerated fear response to specific things or situations.
  • Physical Symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, or shortness of breath.
  • Persistent Distress or Interference: Symptoms cause significant distress or interfere with your daily life, including work, school, or relationships.
  • Compulsive Behaviors: Feeling the need to perform certain behaviors over and over again, or having persistent, unwanted thoughts.
  • Hyper-Vigilance: Being overly aware of your surroundings, or feeling like you're constantly on guard for danger.
  • Fear of Social Situations: Fear of social or performance situations, worrying about embarrassment or judgment.

Treatment options such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, and relaxation techniques can be effective in managing anxiety and improving quality of life. 

If you’d like to receive a professional evaluation or discover how one-on-one therapy can help, we invite you to a free 15-minute consultation. At Goodnatal, our therapists and mental health professionals specialize in helping women navigate through miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 

Remember, there's help available, and it's entirely possible to manage and alleviate symptoms of anxiety with the right support and treatment.

PTSD After Miscarriage

Experiencing a miscarriage can be a deeply traumatic event for many individuals that can sometimes lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This condition is often associated with life-threatening events or severe personal trauma, and for some, a miscarriage fits this definition. The emotional and psychological impact can be long-lasting and profoundly distressing.

You are not alone: Believe it or not, 1 in 3 women have symptoms of PTSD one month after a miscarriage.

PTSD following a miscarriage may manifest in various ways. Individuals may experience recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the event. They might have nightmares or flashbacks, where they relive the miscarriage over again. These symptoms can lead to a heightened state of arousal, making a person feel jittery, on-edge, or easily startled. 

Additionally, women may go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds them of the miscarriage, which can include conversations about pregnancy or babies, or even medical settings like hospitals or clinics.

Moreover, individuals with PTSD might exhibit mood alterations such as persistent negative emotional states, feelings of detachment from others, or a lack of positive emotions. They might harbor negative beliefs about themselves, perhaps blaming themselves for the miscarriage or believing they deserved it in some way. The chronic nature of these symptoms can significantly impair an individual's daily life, affecting relationships, work, and overall quality of life.

Potential indicators for PTSD:

Re-experiencing Symptoms:

  • Intrusive, distressing memories or flashbacks of the miscarriage.
  • Nightmares related to the miscarriage.
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to reminders of the miscarriage.

Avoidance and Numbing:

  • Avoiding reminders of the miscarriage, which may include places, people, conversations, or other triggers.
  • Feeling emotionally numb or detached from others.
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Using alcohol or other substances to cope with distressing emotions.

Changes in Thinking and Mood:

  • Persistent negative thoughts about oneself or the world.
  • Feeling hopeless or having a negative outlook on the future.
  • Difficulty remembering important aspects of the miscarriage.
  • Feeling a sense of guilt or blame related to the miscarriage.

Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms:

  • Being easily startled or feeling on edge.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Irritability or aggressive behavior.


  • Chronic fatigue, muscle tension, or other physical symptoms without a clear medical cause.
  • Symptoms lasting more than a month and causing significant distress or functional impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • Struggling to maintain close relationships or feeling distant from loved ones.

Some of these symptoms overlap with depression and other conditions, so it’s crucial to be evaluated by a professional if you are experiencing symptoms.

Receive a professional evaluation or discover how one-on-one therapy can help:

We invite you to a free 15-minute consultation. At Goodnatal, our therapists and mental health professionals specialize in helping women navigate through miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 

Recovery is a process, and while it may take time, with the right support and treatment, healing and regaining a sense of normalcy is achievable.

A Note About Postpartum Hormonal Changes 

The sudden drop in pregnancy hormones after a miscarriage can trigger or exacerbate feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. It’s important to allow yourself grace while your hormones rebalance. 

Hormone issues can prolong or intensify the emotional healing process, making it essential to address them as part of the emotional healing journey post-miscarriage.

Support Resources and Identifying When Professional Support is Needed

The societal stigma surrounding miscarriage and the often private nature of the grief can make it difficult for individuals to reach out for the support they need, intensifying feelings of despair.

Seeking support, practicing self-compassion, and understanding when extra help is needed are critical steps on the journey to healing after pregnancy loss. Below, we delve into various avenues of support, their potential benefits, and signs that may indicate the need for additional professional assistance.

Engaging in Support Groups

Support groups provide a safe haven where individuals can share their experiences, gain insights from others who have walked a similar path, and find a sense of community. The shared experience of loss creates a unique bond, offering a comforting space for expression and understanding​.

We invite you to join our private Facebook support group for miscarriage and recurrent loss here.

join community

Practicing Self-Compassion and Self-Care

Self-care in the context of miscarriage may include nurturing your emotional well-being, and granting yourself the grace and time to heal. Simple acts of self-care, be it a walk in nature, meditative practices, or engaging in hobbies, can have a profound impact on your emotional well-being.

Identifying When Professional Support is Needed

It's crucial to recognize when additional support is needed, and to know that there is no shame in getting a little extra help on your healing journey.

Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety that interferes with daily life, or feeling overwhelmed by emotions may indicate the need for extra support. 

Professional support, encompassing therapy or counseling, provides a safe environment to explore and process the range of emotions following a miscarriage. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one such method known for its effectiveness in managing grief, anxiety, and depressive feelings. 

If you’d like to explore how one-on-one therapy can help you on your journey, I invite you to a free 15-minute consultation. At Goodnatal, our hand-picked therapists specialize in helping women and couples through miscarriage and pregnancy loss, as well as navigating the journey to parenthood after loss. 

You are not alone 

At Goodnatal, we are committed to providing a compassionate, supportive, and understanding environment for individuals navigating through the emotional aftermath of a miscarriage. Our range of services, from one-on-one counseling to group therapy sessions, are designed to offer personalized support on your healing journey.

The road to healing post-miscarriage is a journey of patience, self-understanding, and self-compassion. It’s a path where each step, no matter how small, is a stride towards healing, coping, and eventually finding peace. 

Remember, you are not alone on this journey, and help is available whenever you need it. Your feelings are valid, your loss is acknowledged, and your path towards healing is honored. With the right support, hope and healing is possible.

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