When a woman has a miscarriage, often times we don’t warn her of what comes after the physical experience of loss–we warn pregnant women who deliver a full-term baby about the hormone changes they can expect, the way her clothes will fit differently, how her body will feel different in almost every single way, and all of the symptoms of postpartum depression she should look for.
But when a woman has a miscarriage?
There is silence.
We don’t always warn the mother who has a miscarriage that she will experience very real physical and emotional effects in the aftermath of her loss. Many times, a mother might not even see a doctor at all during her miscarriage, beginning and ending the process at home and wondering if anything she is experiencing is remotely normal. She will go through her experience alone, quietly discarding of the proof that she was once pregnant, neatly tucking away the hopes and dreams she had for the future, wiping her tears away and trying her best to keep going.
No one talks about postpartum depression after a miscarriage, but the truth is, it can happen.
It is possible for postpartum depression to develop after a miscarriage, because no one truly knows what the cause of postpartum depression is in the first place. Some experts believe that postpartum depression is actually pre-existing depression or another form of mental illness that is made worse and visible thanks to the stressors of new motherhood while others theorize that the huge and sudden hormonal changes trigger the depression to happen.
I remember thinking that one of the cruelest parts of my miscarriage was the fact that I still felt pregnant, even after I had found out that the pregnancy was not viable. I had miscarriages where the pregnancies continued even though the embryo was no longer there, so all of my pregnancy symptoms continued.