How To Stay Positive When Pregnant Again After A Loss


Even though you’ve conceived again, it may be a while before you can enjoy this pregnancy. It’s normal for a woman who has had a miscarriage to worry that she might lose this baby, too. That can make it difficult to feel excited about a subsequent pregnancy and trust that it will last.

“A pregnancy after a loss can be the longest nine months of a woman’s life,” says Charlene Nelson, executive director of the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Center in Wayzata, Minnesota. “There are so many things going on emotionally that anxiety is bound to be prevalent throughout the pregnancy.”

Kim Kluger-Bell, a psychotherapist and author of Unspeakable Losses: Understanding the Experience of Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage, and Abortion, agrees: “It’s going to be stressful – especially up to the time when the pregnancy was lost the last time.”

Both Nelson and Kluger-Bell suggest not glossing over the anniversary of a pregnancy loss but rather recognizing and trying to accept it. You’ll probably feel more sad and anxious as the date approaches, and that’s normal.

Don’t beat yourself up for not feeling happy all the time. Allow yourself to feel your feelings: A good cry now and then relieves a lot of tension. And give yourself permission to share your feelings with trusted friends. Simply talking about fears can often alleviate them.

“Once a woman passes the point of the previous loss, attachment to the pregnancy usually forms, and she starts to feel more positive,” says Kluger-Bell. But don’t assume your anxiety will disappear at that point. You may find that being so aware of the unpredictability of pregnancy means your fear and worry persist through labor and delivery. On the other hand, you may find your anxiety fading as you get closer to labor and meeting your baby.

You may also still be grieving for the baby you lost, and that grief might dominate whatever joy you’re experiencing. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t always make room for feeling happiness and sadness at the same time, so people often feel they have to choose one or the other. But you don’t have to choose – all your feelings are equally valid and real.


How can I cope with my anxiety?

There’s no one answer. Chances are you’ll feel anxious much of the time. But as you reach each milestone, such as hearing the heartbeat or feeling your baby move, you’ll be reassured that things are progressing well. Here are some things you can do to stay positive:

Focus on one day at a time. Easier said than done, but it really works. When you feel yourself worrying about the future, stop yourself and think only about today. “Affirm each day,” suggests Nelson. “Celebrate the completion of each week.”

Notice how this pregnancy is different from the pregnancy you lost, and especially consider how things are going better. Pay attention to what’s going well each day and how you and your baby are staying healthy.

Take good care of yourself. Do what you can to make this pregnancy a healthy one. Pay attention to your health and well-being. Sleep, good nutrition, breaks during the day, and regular physical activity will help you feel physically well and emotionally balanced. If possible, treat yourself to a prenatal massage now and then, and let the massage therapist know you’re dealing with a stressful pregnancy. Prenatal yoga and meditation may also help.

Find reasonable ways to manage stress and anxiety. You have enough to do just coping with the loss you’ve experienced. Don’t overschedule yourself, pile on additional responsibilities at home or work, or overcommit yourself to family and friends. Focus on taking good care of yourself, which is within your control.

Try relaxation exercises. Make up your own mantra, such as, “Be healthy for the baby.” Nelson suggests talking to your baby to enhance the bonding process.

Use relaxation techniques if your worries are keeping you from getting enough sleep at night. Talk to your healthcare provider if your worries keep you up at night for more than a week or two, or happen each night for a week.



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