• Interval Health

How to Cope With Terminating a Pregnancy for Medical Reasons


Terminating a pregnancy for medical reasons often leaves the parents feeling a deep and profound loss. It's a loss that may not be well understood by others in your family or in your community. So how do you cope with such a profound loss when you are trying to juggle the opinions of others?

Terminating a pregnancy often gets a lot of attention in the news for various reasons. People tend to be very passionate about it, one way or another. Maybe you fall under one of those categories, or perhaps you’ve never had to give it much thought before.


Until you were faced with a choice.


Terminating a pregnancy is never an “easy” choice, but it can sometimes feel next to impossible when you’re faced with a grim scenario, like terminating your pregnancy for medical reasons.


If you’ve had to terminate a pregnancy due to medical complications with the fetus, you might feel like the weight of the world is currently on your shoulders. In fact, you might not even be able to wrap your head fully around your emotions.


So, how can you cope? Will you ever be able to get through this overwhelming, crippling time?


The answer is yes, but it’s on no one’s timeline but your own.


With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the ways you can cope and move forward when it feels impossible.

Dealing With Immense Loneliness & Grief

When you have to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons, you might start to feel like you’re missing a part of yourself. That can create feelings of intense loneliness that can damage your mental well-being. Because of your internal loneliness, you might want to isolate yourself from others. During such a challenging time, it’s more important than ever to lean on your support system however.


Whether that’s your partner, family, or friends, it’s essential to know you’re not alone in what you’re dealing with. Still, you might feel like no one can possibly understand how you feel.


You may also be experiencing profound grief. Grief that is hard for others to understand and comprehend. If you’re facing emotions like that, finding a support group of women who have been through similar experiences can be a tremendous help. It’s normal to feel like no one in your life understands what you’re going through, but when you find someone who does, especially if they had to cope with it a long time ago, you can gain hope for the future.

Overcoming Shame and Guilt

Abortion has, once again, become a hot-button issue in the media. Thanks to Texas’ new law, TFMR would be illegal if you lived in that state since most medical problems aren’t diagnosed by 6 weeks gestation. Even if you don’t live in Texas, the knowledge that a law like that exists can make you feel extreme guilt over terminating your pregnancy.


You might already be struggling with shame, anyways, from your own moral beliefs or desire to be a mother. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women who lose their babies or have to terminate their pregnancies to feel like they did something “wrong” or should have done things differently.


The truth is - You are not to blame for having to terminate your pregnancy for medical reasons. But, understandably, that’s not always easy to believe when you’re emotionally distraught. Having self-compassion and understanding that the situation is beyond the concrete scenarios others may present can make it easier to cope with your loss and overcome your feelings of guilt.

What You Can do Next

If you’re struggling with feelings of shame and guilt, the best thing you can do is seek out professional help. Having a support system is terrific, but coping will take time. You’ll have to learn different techniques and skills that can get you through the darkest days, and a therapist can help you with that.


Does that mean you’ll forget what happened? No. Losing a child in any way is something that never leaves you, but you’ll be better equipped to cope with the loss and how it happened. When you’re able to do that, it’s more likely that you can move forward healthily and might even consider having a child again in the future.

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If you had to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons, help is out there. Feel free to contact me to get started. I offer a complimentary phone consultation to all potential clients. To schedule yours in a matter of seconds, please check here.


To learn more about how counseling can help you during this time of grief, please click here.

 

Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New Jersey via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.