In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the better-known ways that a miscarriage can negatively affect a woman’s psychological health.
But today, I want to share with you an aspect of mental and physical health that has been fundamental to how we relate to our bodies as women, since we developed consciousness of what it is to be a girl, and also an important aspect of recovery from miscarriage or baby loss trauma.
Across all modern societies, an obstinate premium is still continuously placed on fertile female bodies. A woman’s age, weight and appearance are directly connected to her understanding of what is deemed attractive, desirable, marriageable and fertile (in varying terms and contexts) in the society that she lives in.
And for several women who have gone through pregnancy loss, part of the trauma is the sudden perception that their attractive, desirable, fertile and healthy bodies have turned on them, “failed” their purpose and become “defective”.
This can be a paralysing thought and devastating moment for these women, especially for those who are already more vulnerable when it comes to body-image perception issues.
Women who were once pregnant and vigilant about keeping healthy through clean eating, exercise and meditation can suddenly develop resentment towards the body they used to take care of, and also develop disdain towards the self-care practices that they used to trust.
Feelings of betrayal can arise from a woman’s experience of miscarriage or loss and, instead of wanting physical recovery or health, she can instead turn towards a path of self-destruction and abandon by letting herself go for temporary “comforts”, such as unhealthy food and vices.
Losing a pregnancy can also hugely diminish a woman’s sense of attractiveness. With lowered self-esteem, depression and feelings of isolation from her significant partner, a woman may no longer find pleasure in what used to be her healthy and acceptable self-care routines, such as habits with hygiene, skincare, cosmetics and fashion.
All these shifts are huge indicators of mental health problems brought on by the trauma of pregnancy loss. And these symptoms and unhealthy coping mechanisms can also make a sufferer’s physical recovery from miscarriage even more difficult.
It is vital to support women who have suffered through miscarriage holistically. This includes making sure that they reconnect with their bodies productively, regain a healthy perspective of their body image and femininity, and self-administer much-needed forgiveness to embrace their body back after loss and trauma.
If you are going through fertility treatment and are having a difficult time taking care of yourself or recognising yourself as you did before miscarriage, I would like to offer my time and expertise to guide you through healing and recovery. Feel free to shoot me a message or book a consultation with me so we can start on your path of reclaiming yourself, both mind and body.
Pregnancy loss, especially during fertility treatment, is not an easy event to recover from and it’s okay to ask for help, even for the simple goal of wanting to look at oneself again with pride and acceptance.