Miscarriage and Grief: New strategies to feel better

When our ancestor miscarried early in pregnancy, she might have wondered if she was pregnant or perhaps having a late period. Today, technology has redefined our understanding of miscarriage. We might know when our embryo is 8, 16, 32, or more cells. With IVF, we can even have pregnancy loss without ever being pregnant.

This is NOT to say that grief is somehow unreasonable. It is normal and human to grieve the loss of a wanted – or even unwanted – pregnancy. It is normal and human to feel anxious because we want everything to go well. It is normal and human to want to control the outcome of our lives, to not feel anxious. And it is definitely normal and human to worry. Especially parents. Parents worry.

In fact, if a very-much wanted and anticipated pregnancy ended in loss, it would be odd if we felt nothing. Emotions are core to who we are as a species. Our capacity to feel compassion, joy, and profound love are what make us deeply human.

Thoughts create beliefs. Beliefs create emotions. We can change our emotional responses by changing our thoughts and beliefs. We can’t control how life turns out, but we can control our responses to life. How can we get control back when everything has turned inside out?

Consider these three simple and easy strategies:

  1. positive self-talk,
  2. tapping,
  3. hypnosis.


Based on the principle of the conscious and unconscious minds, our self-talk (internal dialogue and what we say about ourselves out loud) is important. When we repeat negative statements about ourselves, the unconscious mind is listening and believes what it hears.

The goal is not to always be 100% positive. The goal is to have some balance so that you are not bringing yourself down unnecessarily.

There are many resources online with positive suggestions. Check out:


Lightly tapping on the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to lighten negative emotional states and shift our thoughts. It’s like acupuncture without the needles that you can do anywhere, anytime.

One of the interesting aspects of tapping is that it works best with negative thoughts and feelings. For the grief of miscarriage, start by identifying 0-10 what number best represents the intensity (0 = none, 10 = a lot). The follow tapping script is an example of how you might use this process.

Side of the hand: Even though I have all these sad feelings, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I am sad and grieving because of the miscarriage, I choose to be gentle, kind, and compassionate with myself. Even though I have these sad feelings, I am open to feeling better.

Eyebrow: I am grieving, and I have a lot of sad feelings. All these sad feelings and all that they mean.

Side of the eye: There are days I feel unbearably sad. I carry this sadness in my body and some days, it’s just too much.

Under the eye: These feelings are normal. It’s normal to grieve a loss. With loss, comes sadness. All these sad feelings and all that this means.

Under the nose: My sad feelings are normal. I am normal. What if I honour my feelings and all that I’ve been through? What if there is nothing wrong with me?

Chin: What if I am doing the best I can with a very difficult situation? What if, right here and now, it’s ok to be sad? What if it’s ok to have these feelings?

Collarbone: Maybe I am ok and I will have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Maybe my body is doing its best to help me out.

Under the arm: All these sad feelings and all that they mean. Could I acknowledge them? Feelings come and feelings go. My feelings are normal. I am normal.

Top of the head: Could I give myself permission to be more gentle, kind, and compassionate with myself? Right here, right now, I choose to honour myself and all my emotions.

To end this process, take a breath and check internally to see how you feel. On the 0-10 scale, has the number changed? Keep tapping more to bring it down to the level you wish. Feel free to change the words and be creative with the process.


For more information on hypnosis for fertility, go to:


While medical technology has changed dramatically, so has our understanding of how we process thoughts and emotions. Simple strategies such as tapping to reduce negative thoughts and emotions, combined with positive affirmations can make a world of difference, seemingly at the speed of light. One side effect of hypnosis is that it allows the nervous system a chance to relax deeply, bringing many health benefits, while feeling wonderful at the same time.