Costs of Miscarriages, Coping and Possible Prevention
Guest post by Melissa Calvert with additions from Amie Durocher about her experiences
Going through a miscarriage is probably one of the most tormenting and upsetting event in the life of parents who are looking forward to having a strong and healthy baby.
Miscarriages around the World & Common Causes
March of Dimes reports that miscarriages occur in almost 15% of known pregnancies. That number does not include miscarriages that occur before the woman even knew she was pregnant. According to a review in Obstetrics and Gynecology, spontaneous pregnancy loss, or miscarriage, occurs in 25% to 50% of pregnancies prior to 14 weeks of gestation. Only 1% of miscarriages happen after 20 weeks gestation.
About half of first trimester miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities which cause an embryo to be expelled from the uterus as a nonviable pregnancy. Miscarriages can also be caused by infections, hormonal irregularities, improper implantation, uterine abnormalities, maternal age, lifestyle factors like smoking or drug use, or some diseases or medications. Car crashes can also cause miscarriage. Sometimes a miscarriage will occur weeks after a crash and the two are never connected.
Stress, physical or sexual activity are not considered factors in miscarriage.
In some cases, women will have bleeding or cramping indicating something has happened with the pregnancy. Other times women will miscarry without any bleeding or painful symptoms. They won’t know until they visit the doctor.
This is what happened to me. For my first miscarriage, I didn’t know until I visited the doctor for a second appointment. We had heard the heartbeat at our previous appointment and at the next one it was gone. Before I could even wrap my head around the loss, the doctor was asking if I wanted to scheduled a D&C (dilation and curettage)as if it was an every day thing. Which it probably was for her. But it was too new for me to even think about that.
We thought I had expelled the whole pregnancy within a week or so after that. But then several weeks later, I started hemorrhaging. I went to the hospital for a D&C for my second miscarriage because I started bleeding so heavily again. My third miscarriage occurred before we even made it in for our first doctor appointment.
While the body takes its time to recover after a miscarriage, it takes indefinitely longer to heal emotionally after such an occurrence. We cannot emphasize enough how we all feel towards a miscarriage and our only wish for the parents is to stay strong and never lose sight of hope in such a disheartening situation.
Emotional and Financial Costs Associated With Miscarriages
There is no doubt that a miscarriage can be agonizing, to say the least. However, it is also followed by emotional and financial burdens.
Financial Costs of Miscarriages
Each miscarriage is unique depending upon the health of the woman, and that is why there simply cannot be an average cost associated with this dreadful event.
However, to make sense of things, let us share with you an instance where a woman in Kansas City suffered from a miscarriage after nine weeks of pregnancy. In order to get herself treated, she had to go through a D&C. This helped her remove tissues from the uterus for immediate treatment. Her total miscarriage treatment came to a figure of $5,584.
Get your guide about safer driving practices for during pregnancy
However, charges form one hospital to another can differ vastly. In most cases, a simple D&C surgery can cost as much as $15,000. Uninsured women report paying between $4,000 and $9,000. While women with insurance report out-of-pocket expenses between $250 and $1,200, depending on their co-payments and deductibles. If there are complications, the financial costs can skyrocket even higher.
However, not all women who go through a miscarriage require surgery, as in some cases, women will pass the fetal tissue naturally.
The financial burden of a miscarriage only adds to the emotional loss. Many women feel cheated having to pay such high amounts only to go home with no baby.
Emotional Loss after Miscarriages
Since I opted to not have the D&C there was no additional financial cost to my first miscarriage. But emotionally it was awful. I had just told people about my pregnancy because I was so sick I ran out of excuses why I had to miss work and other social activities. Then to turn around and tell them I lost it was devastating.
My not very sympathetic doctor of course told me the statistics and that miscarriages just happen. But I went through a lot of questions about what I did wrong. Or if there was something I could have done different. I finally released some of the guilt years later when during my fourth pregnancy I took progesterone shots for the first trimester (I had a new doctor by this point) and finally carried the baby to term.
Because it is medically common, the emotional impact of miscarriage is often underestimated. I remember feeling like I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. People just didn’t know what to say.
Not matter at what stage in the pregnancy, miscarriages are often connected and linked with emotional damages for the parents. One of the biggest shows of emotional stress after a miscarriage is depression. This can include feelings of hopelessness, losing interests in everyday life activities, lack of energy/motivation, unhealthy diet & sleeping patterns, irrational guilt/self-blame, and even thinking about committing suicide. The range of emotions parents go through in losing a pregnancy is understandable and justified.
We want parents to know that there always hope. It is a known fact that 85% of women have been reported to deliver a healthy and strong baby after their first miscarriage. So while the emotional loss is there, with time, both life partners should nurture each other to heal and be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
How to Heal After a Miscarriage?
There are various ways through which you can heal after a miscarriage and recover to their cheerful self again. In fact, there are many general physicians out there that can look into the matter and offer terrific support. This also includes midwives that are specifically trained to handle such situations.
Here are some other ideas to support your self:
- Grieving loss is a natural process, sharing and comparing experiences with other women who have gone through the same suffering as you can offer you tremendous closure. Join a support group. There are some online groups now.
- If the pain doesn’t seem to lessen even after months, then it is better to go for therapy or meet with an expert on the subject who can offer their professional consultation.
- There are high probabilities for partners to develop miscommunication troubles after the event as each suffers in their own way. However, the best approach is to share your feelings. Men should show compassion and women should remember men experience the loss as well.
- Healing doesn’t have a time limit, so take your time to heal and grieve. There is simply no rushing it. But healing is a process that should always follow, do not avoid or negate it in any way.
- It is OK to feel sad from time to time, but do not avoid joy and laughter if it reaches out to you. They are both healers, so never shut their doors, keep them open so you can recover from your loss.
- You might want to remember your baby. You can plant a tree, name them, or do something special with your partner on an anniversary. A jewelry item, birthstone, or donating to a charity is also a good idea. We planted a rose bush and hung a ceramic angel above it.
- There are a lot of helpful websites and books available on the topic that can better guide you about recovering from a miscarriage both physically and emotionally.
Precautions You Can Take To Avoid a Miscarriage
There are indeed a lot of things that you can do to prevent miscarriages. Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent a miscarriage from occurring:
- Of course the best course of action for all pregnancies is to be as safe and healthy as you can with a nutritious diet, staying active and adequate sleep.
- All medical doctors recommend that you take a daily dosage of folic acid of around 400 mcg (micrograms) as it promotes a healthy baby development and prevents miscarriage. Make sure your prenatal vitamin contains it.
- Prohibit drinking alcohol, smoking, and usage of harmful drugs as they can all exponentially increase the chances of miscarriages and many more health-related problems for you and the baby both.
- Obesity, thyroid problems, diabetes and autoimmune disorders can hasten miscarriages. Make ample appointments with your doctor and get them sorted out.
- Always check with your doctor before taking any medications. Inform them of your complete medical history, the medicines you have taken previously, and the ones you are on currently.
- The most common cause of miscarriages includes problems with chromosomes, uterus or cervix, and other infections. There are medical procedures and screenings available to determine if any of these may be a factor.
- Always make it your priority to keep your abdomen safe from all kinds of injury throughout your pregnancy. Car crashes are the number one cause of fetal injury and results in about 3,000 pregnancy losses every year. Always wear your seat belt properly when traveling in a vehicle and use a crash tested Tummy Shield to properly adjust your seat belt for safety and comfort.
- Environmental factors, including exposure to certain chemicals, can cause miscarriages such as heavy metal solutions, mercury, paint thinners, pesticides, and other solvents. If your work involves any of these hazardous materials, see if your employer can reassign your tasks during your pregnancy.
- Avoid radiations and other poisons like arsenic, benzene, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and lead at all costs. In fact, please stay clear of them from a reasonable distance!
Remember the majority of parents who suffer from a miscarriage often have a healthy and strong baby later on.
The suffering for parents is definitely there; however, one should never lose sight of hope or the will to move forward. As partners, you should always comfort each other to the best of your abilities. And know this is not the end of your journey.
Together and with support from your family and friends, you can survive this ordeal and it can make you stronger than ever before.
Melissa Calvert is a Digital Marketing Analyst as well as a Counseling Psychologist at Crowd Writer, where students can acquire custom essay writing from professionals. During her free time, she likes to read, write, and share her views on life-lesson subjects for like-minded audiences. Additions and editing by Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004.
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