Ask any woman who has experienced a miscarriage how they’d describe the experience, and “devastating” is a word they often use.
Whether it was a much-hoped-for pregnancy or a happy accident, once a woman knows she is pregnant – and if she wants to continue with the pregnancy – the oxytocin levels rise and bonding begins.
Sadly, about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t realise she’s pregnant.
A miscarriage usually happens in the first 3 months of pregnancy, before 12 weeks’ gestation. A small fraction of pregnancy losses – happening in less than 1% of pregnancies – are called stillbirths, as they happen after 20 weeks of gestation.
Many women can feel a huge sense of loss following a miscarriage.
Women often start bonding immediately with their babies and start envisaging this precious new life in their families. To hear their baby has passed away leaves a hole in their lives.
Not only do they have the emotional pain and loss to deal with, but often physical discomfort too.
Symptoms of miscarriage may include:
Vaginal bleeding, which varies from light spotting to heavy bleeding
Fluid, blood clots, or tissue passing from the vagina
Abdominal pain or cramping
Lower back pain
Fever and chills
No longer feeling the usual signs of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness and nausea
Miscarriage is an umbrella term, but there are various types of miscarriage:
Inevitable miscarriages can come after a threatened miscarriage or without warning. There is usually a lot more vaginal bleeding and strong lower stomach cramps. During the miscarriage, your cervix opens and the developing foetus will come away in the bleeding.
A complete miscarriage has taken place when all the pregnancy tissue has left your uterus. Vaginal bleeding may continue for several days. Cramping pain much like labour or strong period pain is common – this is the uterus contracting to empty.
If you have miscarried at home or somewhere else with no health workers present, you should have a check-up with a doctor or midwife to make sure the miscarriage is complete.
Sometimes, some pregnancy tissue will remain in the uterus. Vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal cramping may continue as the uterus continues trying to empty itself. This is known as an ‘incomplete miscarriage’.
Sometimes, the baby has died but stayed in the uterus. This is known as a ‘missed miscarriage’.
If you have a missed miscarriage, you may have a brownish discharge. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and tiredness, may have faded. You might have noticed nothing unusual. You may be shocked to have a scan and find the baby has died.
It can be very distressing for a woman to be told her baby has passed away, yet the physical tissue is still present and she is waiting for it to pass. It can be a bittersweet experience of still “feeling pregnant” but knowing that it isn’t going to result in a live birth.
The usual recommendation for women in this situation is to take medication or have a D&C to speed up this process.
Many doctors encourage women to do this to reduce the risk of getting blood poisoning or septicemia. While this is the preferred option for some, many women prefer to let the body release naturally to minimise medical intervention.
Homeopathy respects the needs of the woman, while gently supporting the body to release the foetus in a timely fashion. Sometimes there is an emotional reason why her body isn’t ready to release her baby – she may be wanting to hold on to her baby and unconsciously unwilling to let go.
Many women blame themselves or think they’ve done something wrong, and that’s why the miscarriage has occurred. Let me assure ANY woman who is going through this right now, it is NOT your fault!
No one really knows why miscarriages occur, but a common cause of pregnancy loss is a problem with the chromosomes that would make it impossible for the foetus to develop normally.
Other factors that could contribute to a miscarriage include:
Abnormal hormone levels in the mother, such as thyroid hormone
Exposure to environmental and workplace hazards, such as radiation or toxic agents
Incompetent cervix, or when the cervix begins to open (dilate) and thin (efface) before the pregnancy has reached term
Certain medications, such as the acne drug Accutane
Smoking or sustained drug abuse
How to use Homeopathy during miscarriage
Homeopathy helps support the mother to process what is going on, both mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.
These remedies should be taken in 200c potency (CH or K), no higher. I recommend taking these remedies in water. Put a pellet of the remedy in a water bottle and sip as required. Stop once symptoms change.
For the initial shock - Aconite
Grief - Ignatia
To help your body physically during miscarriage:
ACONITE – Key symptoms: Fear of dying. Anxiety that alternates with calm. Bleeding after any shock.
CAULOPHYLLUM – Key symptoms: A tendency to suffer from miscarriages in the early months. Sharp spasmodic cramps low in the pelvis. Weakness, fatigue, trembling, or nervous excitement. Incomplete miscarriage with cramping but no resolution. Thirst with contractions. A sensation of congestion and heaviness in the uterus.
CHINA – Key symptoms: Chilly, exhausted, dehydrated. Loss of fluids, loss of blood. Thirst, dizziness. Low blood pressure.
CIMICIFUGA – Key symptoms: Miscarriage at 3 months. Negativity, morbid fears, alternating symptoms. Stitching pains in the uterus that move from side to side. Bleeding with copious, dark clots. Sour or offensive smell with blood. Bleeding suppressed from getting cold or strong emotions. Pain extending to thighs. Cramps in groin and hips.
SABINA – Key symptoms: Bright red clots, stringy discharge. Fluid-containing clots. Gushing, gelatinous bleeding. Pain from sacrum to the pubic bone. Bleeding stops when walking. Ongoing vaginal bleeding since the miscarriage. Never been well since the miscarriage.
SECALE – Key symptoms: Protracted, irregular bleeding. Clots. Convulsions. Dark liquid blood, or bright red, clotted flow. Constrictive pain of the uterus like a band. Threatened or incomplete miscarriage particularly at 3 months. Infection, putrid bleeding.
SEPIA – Key symptoms: Miscarriage particularly in the first 3 months. Low libido. Irritable, moody. Dragging pains that feel better for crossing legs. A sensation of a ball in the pelvis or rectum. Contractions felt in the vagina. Upward stitching pains. Bleeding after emotional excitement. Ovaries feel enlarged. Intense back pain. Nausea and aversion to food.
Incomplete Miscarriage. Remedies to avoid a D&C:
When the tissue/foetus won’t release from your body and you are facing a D&C, these remedies work wonders.
These remedies should be taken in 200c potency (CH or K), no higher.
You can combine Pulsatilla and Secale if you need to. I recommend taking these remedies in water. Put a pellet of the remedy in a water bottle and sip as required. Stop once symptoms change.
Pulsatilla - This remedy is for letting go. That can be both emotionally and physically
Secale - for incomplete miscarriage
Ignatia - if you know deep down that grief is your reason for holding on to the baby/tissue, this remedy is for you
Aristolochia - for beginning stages of infection (you want to avoid getting to this stage as much as possible) for dark, watery blood
Pyrogen - when sepsis is a real possibility (again, you want to avoid getting to this stage as much as possible)
As a final word, I want to acknowledge your loss and I encourage you to grieve the loss of your loved one, in whatever way feels appropriate for you. If you have overwhelming feelings of grief that don’t subside or you feel hopeless or depressed, please seek help and support from a pregnancy loss support group or therapist.
If you would like some homeopathic support from me, feel free to book with me via my website: www.wholebeinghealth.co.nz. I work with women worldwide.