How to Handle Mother's Day After a Pregnancy Loss

There's no right or wrong way to spend the holiday

Young couple sitting at a table, distracted

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Mother's Day can be so painful after a pregnancy loss. Everywhere you go, you’ll be faced with reminders of the holiday. No matter what kind of loss you’ve gone through or whether you’ve got other children at home, you’ve earned your right to recognize Mother's Day if you want to. If you identify yourself as a mother, you’re a mother.

How You Choose to Spend Mother's Day After a Miscarriage Is Personal

For some women, the "mother" title may be uncomfortable. It’s perfectly OK if you want to ignore Mother's Day altogether. As with every aspect of grieving, there is no right or wrong way to do anything. This is a deeply personal experience, and you need to figure out what works for you.

There is so much guilt after a pregnancy loss. You can’t help wondering what you could have done differently. Some women even wonder if their miscarriage means they weren’t meant to be a mother. This is especially true for women who have had multiple losses without any living children.

Tips for Coping After a Pregnancy Loss

Here are some suggestions for spending the day and taking care of yourself during what may be a challenging time:

  • Talk to your doctor about the causes of your loss, if they are known, and do your best to let go of feelings of guilt and self-blame. Surround yourself with people who understand, and avoid those who have a habit of saying all the wrong things.
  • Express yourself. Find those trusted people who will listen while you express your feelings. If you don’t have someone in your life you can trust with your feelings, writing a letter or journal entry is a good way to let your feelings out. You can always seek help from a professional counselor if you really need to talk things through with someone.
  • Try not to beat yourself up, and accept that you're going to be on an emotional roller coaster. No matter how you decide to spend Mother's Day, you may find yourself experiencing all kinds of emotions you didn’t count on.
  • Try not to over-plan what you'll do on the day itself. You may end up feeling differently than you expected, and you don't want to put more pressure on yourself to act like everything is fine if it's not.
  • If you’ve joined a support group or found friends in your social circle who have also gone through a pregnancy loss, you could choose to spend the day together. Have a special meal, or do an activity together. Whether your goal is to distract yourselves or share your feelings in a safe outlet, other women who share your experience could be just the right companions.
  • Spend the day with your own mom, your grandmother, or another special woman in your life. If you have other children, try to enjoy your time with them. 
  • Attend a religious service, and light a candle or ask for a special prayer.
  • Volunteer. Whether you serve a meal at a soup kitchen, visit a nursing home, or help out at your church, spending the day doing good for others can make you feel good about yourself, and keep your mind occupied.
  • Indulge yourself with a special treat you don’t normally get. It could be as simple as a coffee drink, or as extravagant as a spa treatment.

No matter how you spend the day, be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to experience all your emotions, and feel the support of your trusted friends and family.

1 Source
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  1. American Pregnancy Association. After a Miscarriage: Surviving Emotionally.

By Elizabeth Czukas, RN, MSN
Elizabeth Czukas is a writer who who has worked as an RN in high-risk obstetrics, antepartum care, and with women undergoing pregnancy loss.