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Here for You With Support, Prayers and Resources

Miscarriage and infant loss can be so painful. Know that we’re here to help you through this difficult process. When you’re ready, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our bereavement support team.

Call us at 407-303-8721

The Heal Support Group

HEAL is a support group for parents who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death. Talking with others who are experiencing this same unique loss can help you deal with your grief, helplessness and loneliness. The support group meets in seven sessions under the direction of qualified counselors. There is no charge, and both partners are encouraged to attend. This group is now offered virtually.

For more information or to register, call 407-303-5715.

Coping With Grief

The emotional impact of miscarriage or infant loss often takes longer to overcome than physical healing. You may experience a wide range of emotions including guilt, anger, sadness, loneliness and disbelief. Allow yourself to grieve; it’s a normal and natural part of healing for your mind and your body.

During the grieving process, you will experience a range of feelings, thoughts and behaviors. If you can define, acknowledge, and express these experiences, you may find it easier to accept your responses and understand the grieving process. Grief reactions may include:

  • Anger
  • Breakdown of normal patterns of conduct or inability to return to normal activity
  • Depression
  • Emotional release
  • Guilt 
  • Hostility
  • Integrated grief
  • Panic and preoccupation with the image of the deceased (infant loss)
  • Physical symptoms
  • Shock and numbness

All the emotions, thoughts and behaviors associated with grief are normal reactions to a tragic situation. However, mothers and fathers may experience and/or express them in very different ways. For example, a mother may appear devastated, cry most of the time and express feelings of not being able to go on. A father — who may be equally distraught — may believe he needs to appear strong. He may go back to work soon after the loss in an effort to function normally. 

These differences can cause a great deal of conflict between mothers and fathers. It is important that you communicate with each other to avoid misunderstandings. What one sees as an uncaring attitude could really be an attempt to shield and protect the partner by covering true emotions. Being honest about your feelings and sharing them with your partner is very helpful during this time. Accepting one another's feelings, even if you do not feel the same way, can help you heal together.

You can expect a wide range of reactions from those who are close to you. Some will be able to listen, understand and empathize. Others may try to limit their conversations with you. This is because many people are unable to deal with the thought of loss or death and may think they are protecting you from your grief by not talking to you about your baby. They are not trying to avoid you; it is the topic they don’t want to confront. 

There are those who might seem somewhat unsympathetic because they do not understand the strength of the bonds you have developed with your baby. Some will be understanding for a few days or weeks, expecting you to “get over it” in that amount of time. Some may even make comments that seem insensitive and cruel. 

As time goes by, those who offered you strength in the beginning may come around less frequently as they get involved again in their own activities. Do not hesitate to ask them for the attention you need. It’s likely they don’t realize you still need them. In time, you will learn what to expect from people, and you will develop ways of responding that work best for you.

Although a parent's initial instinct may be to protect or shelter children from sadness, most professionals agree that it’s better to be open and honest with them about death. Seeing adults cry will not be harmful to a child. It may even be comforting for the child to know that adults have the same feelings he or she has. 

While this is difficult, allowing your sadness to show and sharing these feelings with your children can be a meaningful experience for all. It’s important that children know about the death as soon as possible. It’s best to try to use concrete, easy-to-understand words about death and try to avoid using expressions that may be confusing to children such as “God took the baby to heaven because he needed the baby more than we did.” If you don’t know how or why someone died, it’s appropriate to tell children that you don’t know.

Physical Care for Mom

It may take a month or more to recover physically from a miscarriage. Your recovery will depend on how far along you were into the pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding, similar to a menstrual period, may last up to a week after a miscarriage. Lower abdominal pain — similar to menstrual cramps — may last up to two days after the miscarriage.

Some women may also experience breast discomfort, breast engorgement or leaking milk during the first week. Hormonal changes also occur as a woman’s body returns to its pre-pregnancy state.

There are several things you can do until your bleeding stops to help prevent infection. These include:

  • Use sanitary pads rather than tampons; wait until your next period before using tampons
  • Do not douche
  • Do not go into swimming pools or hot tubs
  • Do not have sexual intercourse
  • Take showers instead of baths

A follow-up exam with your health care provider is recommended four to six weeks after a miscarriage. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A fever of 100 degrees or above
  • Bleeding that changes to bright red
  • Discharge that has a bad odor or looks infected (yellow or green)
  • Pain or unusual cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding that increases or continues over several weeks
  • Abdominal Pain: You may have mild cramping for a few days after delivery. This usually gets better with over-the-counter pain medicine. If the pain is bad and/or you have a fever, call your doctor.
     
  • Activities: Go back to your usual activities little by little. If you find some activities are too difficult to complete, refrain from doing them until your strength returns.
     
  • Nutrition: Eat healthy foods you like, even if you are not hungry. Drink plenty of liquids.
     
  • Perineal Care: Keep the area clean. Rinse it with warm water from a plastic squeeze bottle every time you finish going to the bathroom. Avoid getting water into your vagina. You may shower, but do not take a bath or swim in a pool until your doctor clears you. Do not use a vaginal douche.
     
  • Sex and Related Activities: Do not put anything in the birth canal (no sexual intercourse, tampons, diaphragms) for four to six weeks or until your doctor clears you.
     
  • Temperature: Check your temperature for the first week, two times a day. If your temperature goes above 100.5 degrees two times in a row, call your doctor.
     
  • Vaginal Flow: You may have medium to heavy vaginal bleeding for the first few days after delivery. For the next few weeks, you may have light pink to brown discharge. If bleeding stays very heavy or if it has a bad odor, call your doctor.


Call your doctor right away if you have any concerns or experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Have bad leg pain (with or without swelling)

Downloadable Resources

The resources below are free for you to access at any time.

Couple holding hands.

Miscarriage Support Guide

Having a miscarriage — at any stage of pregnancy — can be a very painful experience, but we’re here to help you heal. We hope this information will help you understand the physical and emotional changes that may occur.

Download
People holding hands.

Infant Loss Bereavement Support Guide

If you’ve suffered the loss of a baby, our team and community partners are here to help you and your family heal during this unthinkable time. This guide is designed to clarify next steps and provide resources, including funeral home and grief support organizations.

Download