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Monday, March 24, 2014

Harsh Realities: Miscarriages

Look, they're going to happen.

Men and women alike should pay attention.  This is one of those things that you won't see a lot of folks talking about because it makes them uncomfortable.  It's not an easy subject.

Unfortunately, this topic falls under personal experiences for me. I won't go into how many I've lost; just be aware I am a woman who has experienced the loss of her babies at a month and a half, and at four months.  I've been on the receiving end of a wide range of reactions from the would-have-been fathers.


The Basics

Miscarriages are in that category called Personal SHTF.  If not handled with care, compassion, and respect, this situation can easily escalate into being a long-term emotional wound which will affect other areas of your life. They are horrible occurrences now, but will only get worse when medical options dwindle as some miscarriages may, in a worst case scenario, even claim the life of the woman.

Most women who miscarry do so when their menstruation cycle starts - the baby wasn't set fully into the lining of the uterus, perhaps, or a wide variety of other reasons.  Sometimes they don't even know they've miscarried.

And then there are times when a woman will not have the luxury of never knowing.  You miss a period, then two, and you start in with a whole range of emotions: excitement, fear, etc.   Then the questions start.  How will the father react? What are my options if he doesn't want to accept the child? Do I even tell him??

Men experience the same range of emotions though different questions, though I can only speculate as to what those are. I have been met with anger from some, and fear and denial over the others.  When I lost the babies, their reactions were, respectively, disgusted relief and painful remorse.


Mental Effects

When a woman miscarries, a lot of how it affects her is dependent on her mindset.  There is no denying the impact of a miscarriage, or the spiral into depression that follows. Honestly, women... let yourselves grieve.  DO NOT BOTTLE IT UP INSIDE.  Men, ask her what she needs.  Comfort her!  Don't be afraid to hold a weeping woman and get  your clothes soaked.  One of the most damaging things that can be done is not acknowledging the event.  Rub her back and let her cry.

Don't initiate conversation about the baby.  Let her do that, and don't be hurt when she doesn't want to talk about it.  Depending on how late in the pregnancy the miscarriage happened, what kind of mindset she kept, and her diet, she'll be almost back to normal (physically) after about 18-45 days,.  Long walks in the sunshine will help ease the depression remnants as well.


Physical Effects

Miscarriage bleeding times vary between women, but the need to replace the nutrients in the body is going to be critical.  Bleeding events, even normal ones like periods, cause feelings of brain fog and lethargy.  She's likely going to seem a bit accident-prone for a few days after as well.  Depending on how many months along it happened, you will want to cut the work she's doing.  Let her do only little things at first.  She's going to need to feel useful, to be needed.

Things that will help her body recover will be foods high in iron (like spinach and meats) and protein (whole proteins from chicken, duck, fish or combined proteins from rice and mushrooms; rice and beans).  Stay away from carbohydrates and starches, as they mess with her blood sugar horribly and will contribute to a worsening in her depression.

Medical complications (physical trauma) resulting from miscarriage are beyond the scope of this article as I am not a trained medic. If you have experience in this area then please comment.


In Conclusion

Life is a harsh reality in a post-SHTF world. There likely won't be hospitals or doctors available, and if you're very lucky, someone in your group went and learned midwifery.

Miscarriage will be something you deal with in a group of mixed sexes.  Women are going to be getting pregnant, and the stress of SHTF will be a factor in the survival of mother and child.  It's not something you can prepare for in the physical sense; you can only study for it, and be mentally and emotionally prepared of what might happen.


The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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