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Moreover, unprocessed grief can resurface years later, and a common trigger can be a loss or an experience that is similar in circumstance to the original loss (Kader pp). According to Kader, this is the reason some adults who have been functioning well prior to a major traumatic event "will have a tremendously hard time recovering from this stressor while others will not have the same difficulties under similar circumstances" (Kader pp). Therefore, it is important to seek therapy in order for these long-buried wounds to surface so that the healing process can begin (Kader pp).
Even if a miscarriage occurs just days after a positive pregnancy test, the reaction can include a wide spectrum of emotions, for although a woman and/or couple are mourning a baby that was never born, the daydreams about the baby and what kind of parents they would be were well under way (Goff pp). This broken bond needs to be mourned, says Mary King, a licensed clinical social worker, "It is a loss...It may not be the same as someone you already knew, but it is the loss of a living thing" (Goff pp). Moreover, it is especially difficult because no one expects to have a miscarriage, and if the couple have been trying to conceive, they go from happiness to being blindsided with bad news (Goff pp). And even with today's medical technology, at least half of all miscarriages, especially those that occur during the first trimester, remain a mystery (Goff pp).
Most people do not understand the depth of mourning that many women and couples go through and how long recovery may take (Ponte pp). However, for some women, it is not only the experience of the miscarriage itself that is difficult, but being constantly aware of where the pregnancy would be "right now" if the miscarriage had not happened (Ponte pp). Moreover, there is very little understanding of exactly what causes miscarriages and how they can be prevented, yet women very often tend to blame themselves for the loss (Ponte pp). Then the veil of silence that society casts over the topic makes it much harder for women and families to get the information and help they need when they go through this common experience (Ponte pp). Experts, from midwives to grief counselors, agree that today's culture is not very adapt at mourning this type of loss, and most hospitals still do little to deal with women compassionately (Ponte pp).
According to one study, women who were first interviewed two weeks after miscarriage scored more than three times higher on a depression scale than pregnant women and scored four times higher than non-pregnant women, and when interviewed six weeks and six months after miscarriage scored three times higher on the depression scale than non-pregnant women (Depressive pp). These findings demonstrate the magnitude of depressive symptoms among women who have had a miscarriage (Depressive pp). Many have hypothesized that the "conspiracy of silence' that often occurs among health professionals, family and friends following miscarriage may exacerbate and prolong the depression (Depressive pp).
A new social movement has arisen during the past twenty-five years, that encourages couples, in particular women, to speak out concerning their grief following miscarriage, resulting in greater public attention, such as articles about miscarriage no longer being confined to women's and health magazines, but are actually appearing in national mainstream news magazines and newspapers, and such coverage indicates the success of both the women's health and pregnancy-loss movements (Reagan pp).
Depressive symptoms after miscarriage." American Family Physician. June 01
1992. Retrieved October 04, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
Goff, Karen Goldberg. "Miscarriage." The Washington Times. March 26, 2000.
Retrieved October 04, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
Kader, Sharon. "The Emotional Impact of Miscarriage."
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. Retrieved October 04, 2005 at http://www.iaac.ca/english/articles/impact.asp
Ponte, Wendy. "Solitary sadness: the need to grieve miscarriage. Mothering. July 01, 2002. Retrieved October 04, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
Reagan, Leslie J. "From hazard to blessing to tragedy: representations of miscarriage in twentieth-century America." Feminist Studies. June 22, 2003. Retrieved…[continue]
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Along with this changing ability to help parents deal with their loss have come various rituals. Increasing numbers of parents are recognizing how such rituals provide connection to their community, a sense of the sacred and an outlet to do something about their grief. Some of the rituals actually come from other cultures that are much more open about the subject of death. In Japan, for example, the traditional Jizo
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