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Couples May Change After Miscarriage

Pregnancy Loss Can Strengthen Relationship, or Tear It Apart

Doctors, Midwives, Nurses Can Help

Whoever is involved at the hospital -- doctor, nurse, midwives -- can help grieving parents get through this trauma of pregnancy loss, says Nadine Kaslow, PhD, a professor of psychology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

"Doctors can talk to couples, prepare them that this is a difficult time emotionally, tell them it's really important that they talk about what miscarriage means to them," Kaslow tells WebMD. "Talk to them realistically about what has happened. Then make an appointment to see them back in a month, together." Follow-up is very important, she says.

A nurse or midwife can also offer guidance and encourage couples to talk about their feelings about the pregnancy loss. "Give them ideas of how to cope effectively, that what a miscarriage means is different things to different people," she advises.

Sometimes, it helps couples to have a ceremony or ritual to mark the loss -- just as you would a newborn that has died, Kaslow says. "You do grow attached to the fetus."

Sometimes, couples go to their church. Others donate nursery items and toys to charity. Others may buy a teddy bear or another symbol to mark that presence in their lives, she says.

Sure, women can find support through groups and other women who have been through pregnancy loss. But the reaction of her partner is the most critical to the relationship. Just remember, he may grieve the loss in a different way. Try to get him to open up, to talk about it, Kaslow says.

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