An unplanned loss of a pregnancy that ends before 20 weeks of pregnancy is called a miscarriage.
After 20 weeks, it is called a stillbirth.
Call your doctor or midwife as soon as you can if you:
- Are bleeding or leaking fluid from the vagina
- Have sudden or severe swelling in the face, hands, or fingers
- Get severe or long-lasting headaches
- Have discomfort, pain, or cramping in the lower abdomen
- Have a fever or chills
- Are vomiting or have persistent nausea
- Feel discomfort, pain, or burning with urination
- Have problems seeing or blurred vision
- Feel dizzy
- Suspect your baby is moving less than normal after 28 weeks of pregnancy, or if you count less than 10 movements within two hours. (Learn how to count your baby's movements on this Prenatal care and tests page).
If it is after doctor hours, go to walk-in care or the Emergency Room.
If you are unable to get to a place for help for any of the above symptoms, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby please call 911.
If you do suffer a loss, you might feel a lot of different things and wonder if they’re normal feelings or feel alone in having them. Please ask us, your doctor, or a counselor for help in getting through this. You are not alone. Some of the feelings you might be struggling with:
- You might feel stunned or shocked.
- You might be asking, "Why me?"
- You might feel guilty that you did or didn't do something to cause your pregnancy to end.
- You might feel cheated and angry.
- Or you might feel extremely sad as you come to terms with the baby that will never be.
These emotions are all normal reactions to loss. And with time, know that you will be able to accept and move on. But it will take time, and for some, it will take outside help.
You will never forget your baby and you shouldn’t. But you will be able to put this chapter behind you and look forward to life ahead.
But to help get you through this difficult time, please try some of these ideas:
- Turn to loved ones and friends for support. Share your feelings and ask for help when you need it.
- Talk to your partner about your loss. Keep in mind that men and women cope with loss in different ways.
- Take care of yourself. Eating healthy foods, keeping active, and getting enough sleep will help restore energy and well-being.
- Join a support group. A support group might help you to feel less alone.
- Do something in remembrance of your baby.
- Seek help from a grief counselor, especially if your grief doesn't ease with time.
Life Connections can put you in touch with counselors and materials that may help you through this difficult time. Please call and ask for help. You shouldn’t go through this alone either.
Additional Miscarriage Support