Hi, my name is Allison Schaaf, my own fertility journey, including 5 miscarriages, inspired me to create this website to help YOU navigate your own fertility journey.
After each of my losses, determining the best time to start trying to get pregnant after miscarriage was always difficult to figure out. I recommend setting aside some time to answer these 10 questions if you are struggling to with the timing of trying to conceive (ttc) after miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
Trying to Conceive (TTC) After Miscarriage
First, let’s get this out of the way, you typically can start trying to get pregnant after miscarriage as soon as YOU are ready, of course, please check with your doctor to confirm. There may be specific medical conditions that require you to hold off on trying to conceive after a pregnancy loss. This article poses 10 questions to consider if YOU are ready for another pregnancy!
I recommend setting aside some time to write down these questions and your answers, being very thoughtful in your responses. While some of these questions may seem to overlap, I find it’s important to ask similar questions in a few different ways to fully evaluate your readiness.
1. Am I ready emotionally?
Before going into another pregnancy, it is important that you feel emotionally ready to handle a pregnancy. Feeling unsure? Consider working with a therapist or counselor, the https://psidirectory.com/ is a great resource. You can specifically request to work on getting yourself to an emotional place of “readiness” for a future pregnancy.
2. Do I feel like I need to take time to heal?
Check in with yourself physically, emotionally and mentally, is there healing that needs to happen before another pregnancy? I suggest spending some time journaling or talking through these 3 pieces of your health and if you feel like you are in a good place to maintain a pregnancy. A future pregnancy will have a better chance of occurring and maintaining if you are strong physically, emotionally and mentally. One study found an association between stress during pregnancy and miscarriage 1. Allowing yourself adequate time to heal may reduce your stress.
3. Is my spouse ready emotionally?
It is important to also consider your spouse or partner in your decision. Pregnancy after a loss can be challenging emotionally and having a partner that is ready and willing to support you is important. If you are feeling uncertain, consider going to couples therapy or having your partner attend therapy on his own.
4. Would I like to take time for myself to ______?
Are you putting something off until “after baby”? If so, now is a good time to re-visit anything you are putting off until “after baby”. For example, if you have been delaying something big (like a trip) or even something small (like buying a new outfit), consider doing that after-a-baby activity or thing now. This will leave you feeling less rushed, pressured or even resentful during the trying to conceive process.
5. Am I feeling rushed? (the question about age)
This may be an unpopular opinion, but you should not rush into getting pregnant again because you feel like time is running out. Unfortunately, we are all getting older with every day that passes. That being said, it is important to head into a future pregnancy prepared and ready vs stressed and anxious. Research shows that anxiety regarding a current pregnancy (`pregnancy anxiety’) is associated with shorter gestation and has adverse implications for preterm birth, fetal neurodevelopment and child outcomes. 2. While some lingering anxiety after miscarriage is normal, it is important to not rush into it too soon. For example, it may be beneficial to take 6 months to focus on decreasing stress and navigating your emotions, rather than only taking 3 months and going into your next pregnancy anxious.
Wondering if you are ready? If you have overwhelming thoughts of fear and anxiety or feel unprepared to cope with a future pregnancy, these could all be signs you need more time.
Also keep in mind that there are multiple options for building a family.
6. Am I craving a pause?
Does the word “pause” or “break” sounds dreamy to you??? If so, listen to that. Especially if you are right on the heels of a miscarriage check in and see if a break sounds inviting and if so, figure out what that might look like. I like to do a practice of creating a self-imposed timeline. For example, determining I need a month to not focus on pregnancy or “try”, then at the end of that month check back in to see if you are feeling more ready.
7. Do I feel spirituallly connected?
If you are spiritual or religious, have you checked in with God, the Universe or a higher power you believe in? Or maybe tapping into your inner self or an inner knowing feels right for you. Either way, spend some time in meditation, prayer, out in nature, journaling or whatever feels right for you to connect to your inner self or a higher power and ask the questions you want to ask about you, pregnancy and your future or whatever topic feels right for you.
This step is optional depending on your beliefs, but it can be a huge step towards heading into a future pregnancy with a feeling of peace.
8. What hurts worse, the thought of being pregnant (and the fear and anxiety that might come with that) or the thought of not being pregnant?
This question came from the Miscarriage Hope Desk Facebook group (you can join us, here). What I like about this question is it very directly asks the question of where you are at mentally in terms of wanting to be pregnant or not. Just know that either response to this question is okay. Remember, your response may change over time, too. Don’t rush this one.
9. Am I ready to go through another miscarriage?
This is another question from our community at Miscarriage Hope Desk and while it is important to stay positive, it is also important to pose the “real” questions of what might lie ahead… this is similar to the practice of laying out the worst case scenario and deciding if you are still ready to take the next step. While I don’t want you to sit with this one too long, it is an important question to at least think about
10. Is there testing I can do?
There is testing you can do to try and determine what might have caused your miscarriage. Work with your doctor to identify any gaps. It’s important to complete testing before going into a future pregnancy as you may find something that you can address through a specific protocol in a future pregnancy. Generally, testing is not recommended until after 2-3 miscarriages.
If you are not sure where to start, download our free miscarriage lab checklist, here.
Bonus Question: Am I ready?
Admittedly, this may be a repeat of some of the previous questions, but I think it is important to pose the question one more time in this very direct way. Spend some time journaling or even talking about your response to this question with your spouse, therapist or a friend. While a doctor can “clear” you medically to embark on a future pregnancy, ultimately this is the most important question to ask.
If you are struggling with this question, you can question yourself further “What does it feel like physically to know I am ready?”, “What thoughts will I have when I am ready?” and “What does it feel like intuitively to know I am ready?”
Next Steps to Consider
- Set aside time to thoughtfully answer these questions.
- Download our Miscarriage Testing Checklist, especially if you have had multiple losses.
- Consider finding a therapist that specializes in loss using this directory.
- Be sure to include your doctor in your decision-making process to confirm you are physically ready for another pregnancy.
|⇧1||The association between psychological stress and miscarriage: A systemati review and meta-analysis. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5431920/|
|⇧2||Anxiety, depression and stress in pregnancy: implications for mothers, children, research and practice. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447112/|