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Taking care of yourself after a miscarriage: what follow-up?

Find the expert opinion of naturopath Stéphanie Jreijiri, founder of Equilibre au feminine.

Miscarriage is an early and spontaneous termination of pregnancy, occurring in the first 22 weeks, more frequently before the 14th week. It's a fairly common occurrence, as about one in five women will experience one in her lifetime . The causes can be a chromosomal abnormality, a uterine malformation, hormonal imbalance, deficiencies or an unknown cause. Nevertheless, this moment can be painful to live, and should not be ignored, to be able to mourn it and prepare to become pregnant again, in the best conditions.

As women, we have no space to discuss the depth of this loss. I lost nine children by miscarriage. It is nothing, physically or emotionally, but we are made to feel that it is something to live alone and secretly, with a sense of failure. »Sharon Stone

Symptoms: How do you know if you are having a miscarriage?

In the event of a miscarriage (also called "spontaneous abortion"), there may be sensations of menstrual pain , light brown then darker discharge , going as far as red , perhaps blood clots as well as pain in the lower abdomen or even in the back.

It can also be felt more instinctively, by some women who sense something is wrong.

In all cases and as soon as there is any doubt, you must seek a medical consultation with a health professional such as a gynecologist to confirm or rule out the miscarriage. If this is confirmed, this doctor will tell you what to do, because the miscarriage can occur completely naturally or require surgery (with curettage to clean the uterus).

What to do after a miscarriage?

It is an event that can bring physical and emotional pain, you are not alone in experiencing this . The loss of a baby requires self-care similar to childbirth. There is nothing "false" about it and should rather be called "interrupted pregnancy" . Indeed, there is a similar loss of blood, sometimes a weight in the perineum, a hormonal upheaval…

After the miscarriage and for 2 weeks, you should not use a tampon or menstrual cup but rather sanitary napkins or menstrual panties (remember to compare the different ranges of panties to find the ones that suit you best). We also avoid making love , to limit the risk of infections.

A spontaneous abortion does not require "purufier" its belly or its uterus , nevertheless, the body having lived an important test, the plants can be of a precious help to help it to recover.

Allied plants, to be used in herbal tea, mother tincture or care depending on the plant:

  • Raspberry leaves: promotes hormonal balance, helps to find regular cycles, tones the uterus and perineum, soothes cramps thanks to its anti-spasmodic properties

  • Hamamelis: participates in the regulation of hemorrhage (if heavy bleeding), it is also a plant with anti-inflammatory properties

  • Yarrow: calms pelvic pain and also anti-inflammatory

  • Matricaria chamomile: soothing for the nervous system

  • Nettle: remineralizing (if heavy bleeding)

Three jars with flowers and plants to make herbal teas recommended by the naturopath after a miscarriage

You can go to a herbalist to have a herbal tea mix made, or get advice from a naturopath .

If the bleeding is heavy, a blood test will allow you to check your iron level. Supplementation may be indicated, only if the deficiency is confirmed, because too much iron is harmful to the body .

Oils can be of great help, applied locally:

  • Vegetable oil of arnica , analgesic and anti-inflammatory: in massage on the lower abdomen or the back

  • St. John's wort vegetable oil , soothing (cramps) and anti-inflammatory: in massage on the lower abdomen but also on the solar plexus

You can add a drop of essential oil with vegetable oil, such as sweet orange or lemon , which calms anxiety (massage on the solar plexus) or that of neroli , which promotes inner peace and confidence in itself. They can also be used in olfactory.

Take time to grieve after a miscarriage

It often happens that couples do not announce the start of pregnancy before the end of the 3rd month, because they fear risks such as miscarriage. If the pregnancy is not known to the personal or professional entourage or if the medical profession trivializes the situation, it can be difficult to fully experience this ordeal. Many women and couples find themselves in this situation, know that you are not alone , talking circles exist and experts such as psychologists and perinatal health networks can also help you through this moment. sore.

Although we talk very little about spontaneous abortion in society, taking the time to accept what has just happened so that you can move on and consider conceiving again is important.

For those who have experienced it, listening to yourself and resting if you feel the need is life-saving. Taking a few days if possible, slowing down and taking time for yourself can help you cope with this period.

Emotionally, a feeling of guilt can be felt, which is why it is important to welcome it, take it into account and make peace with ourselves .

Different ways to deal with a miscarriage

First of all by the word that can be released, in the couple if the pregnancy is experienced as a couple, with loved ones, a therapist whether you are in a couple or alone. The healing process can also go through writing.

Other alternatives can help: therapies through the body with massages, plantar reflexology, osteopathy, yin yoga (gentle yoga).

On the food side, we focus on comforting and hot dishes.

Bach flowers can also be of great help: the star of Bethlehem (flower of comfort) or the Scots pine (for people who feel responsible).

If you feel the need, you can put in place a ritual to close off the space, work on perinatal mourning for what has been experienced and turn the page.

The rebozo treatment encompasses all these techniques: it is a traditional Mexican ceremony, which can be practiced following childbirth, a miscarriage, bereavement or a major life change... It includes a moment of verbal exchange, a massage, a hot herbal bath, a wrap and tightening with the “rebozo”. These Mexican fabrics will be tight around the woman's body, especially at the level of the pelvis. This ritual can be practiced by a doula, accompanied by the spouse or a loved one. It allows great relaxation and promotes a return of energy.

New pregnancy: How to get pregnant after a miscarriage?

Doctors recommend waiting about a month after the miscarriage before trying to get pregnant again.

It often happens that the preconception phase is forgotten when it can be fundamental and helps reduce the risk of miscarriages. Before recreating a desire to conceive, preparing the body and mind with a specific diet can help the conception phase for both partners.

Indeed these tips are valid for the couple and not only the woman who carries the child!

The miscarriage can be an opportunity to take a few months to cleanse the body and manage its daily stress in order to best prepare it to welcome a new pregnancy and make room for this child who is coming.

Once you're ready, here are some tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant again.

Avoid harmful substances to preserve the fetus

It is recommended not to consume alcohol, tobacco and drugs , which can affect your fertility and harm the development of the baby.

Get back to a healthy diet

Regarding food, favor fruits and vegetables as well as good fatty acids (omega-3), reduce tea, coffee, sodas and processed products. Also avoid foods that are too sweet and refined because excess of them disrupts the hormonal balance .

A healthy and balanced diet can helpboost your fertility in particular:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids , which reduce the risk of spontaneous abortion and promote neuronal balance for the mother and the fetus as well as the quality of the spermatozoa for the father: small fatty fish, vegetable oils (rapeseed, camelina), nuts , hemp, squash and chia seeds, seaweed, Bleu Blanc Coeur label eggs…

  • B9 , essential for the good development of the baby (+ in supplementation for the woman from 3 months before the desire for pregnancy): spinach, lamb's lettuce, walnuts, broccoli, brewer's yeast...

  • Iodine , essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the thyroid, body regulator: seaweed, fish, shellfish, eggs

  • Vitamin E , which limits the risk of spontaneous abortion and breast pain: wheat germ, vegetable oils (rapeseed, camelina), almonds, hazelnuts, avocado...

  • Zinc , essential for the immune system: wheat germ, oilseeds, legumes, seafood and shellfish, meat

  • Choline , which contributes to the development of the cognitive performance of the future baby and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia: egg (especially the yolk, to be eaten runny), beets, spinach, quinoa

  • Calcium , necessary for the formation of the fetal skeleton and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia: almonds, cabbage, broccoli, fatty fish, seaweed (dulse and wakame), soy, white and kidney beans

  • Magnesium , which acts on the nervous and emotional balance, fundamental for conception (+ as a supplement if stress is very present): oilseeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), banana, dark chocolate, whole grains, dates, green vegetables

  • Vitamin D , necessary in particular for the proper assimilation of magnesium and calcium and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes (+ in supplementation because it is difficult to fill): oily fish, sun

To avoid endocrine disruptors : we favor organic food, glass rather than plastic containers, you can also filter tap water and use organic household and cosmetic products.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress, which can also improve your fertility.

Stress plays an important role in fertility: cortisol (stress hormone) and progesterone (which promotes implantation) are produced from the same hormone: pregnenolone. When under stress, the body prioritizes cortisol over progesterone, which can cause miscarriages.

Reducing stress goes through: playing sports regularly, spending time in the open air, outside, getting a massage, meditating, doing breathing exercises, managing the stress factors present in your environment... Reflexology, Acupuncture and osteopathy are also interesting techniques for relaxing and preparing for pregnancy.

Do a detox

Finally, you can do a detox before conception as well as after a miscarriage, since the body experiences in these moments a major hormonal upheaval, which makes the liver work a lot in particular. However, doing a detox requires being in good shape and it is recommended to do it rather in spring and autumn, which is why it is best to be accompanied by a naturopath to adapt it to your situation.

Please note that the detox is not suitable if you are conceiving or pregnant!

Track your menstrual cycle

Tracking your menstrual cycle and ovulation can help you determine the most fertile days of your cycle and plan intercourse accordingly.

We also recommend that you use Lady's ovulation cycle monitoring thermometer for more practicality and less logistics.

This article was written by naturopath Stéphanie Jreijiri, founder of Equilibre au feminine . Naturopath, graduate of the Euronature school certified FENA, Stéphanie offers consultations in office in Paris on Wednesdays and in video or at home in Paris and neighboring cities the rest of the week. It accompanies you in learning about your body and how it works, to regain power over your health and lifestyle and regain or improve your physical and emotional well-being. Specialized in the accompaniment of women, Stéphanie accompanies you in the major events of life (puberty, maternity, menopause ...), the disorders that you may encounter (irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, infertility of the woman and her companion or PMA course…) but also to bring you towards a healthy life balance (weight loss/gain, sugar addiction, stress…). It is with kindness and listening to you that she offers you a follow-up adapted to your ailments and especially to the changes that you are ready to make, without ever forgetting to have fun!

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