Miscarriage happens to one in five women and yet, it’s a topic that doesn’t often get the attention it deserves. Planned or unplanned, the loss of a pregnancy is often more deep and more devastating than most realize. For women (and their partners), a time of gentle healing is required in varying lengths. To help support anyone in our community that may be going through a miscarriage, we spoke to doula, birthworker, and educator, Jessica Diggs, on ways to heal after a loss, plus compiled some recommended holistic health practices to assist in recovery.
For some women (particularly those earlier on in their pregnancy), the physical recovery process after a miscarriage can seem quite quick. However, even if you are feeling physically okay, rest is still hugely important. As Jessica describes, “Following a miscarriage, it is best to replenish your body with rest as the body is moving through a flux of hormones and changes.” Meaning even though you might feel strong and able, the body is still repairing itself. Lean on family and friends to take household tasks off your hands and be sure to decline any social commitments that you are not feeling ready to attend.
Food and hormones are incredibly interlinked and eating nourishing whole foods can help balance the body and blood sugar. Jessica also suggests focusing on iron-rich foods, or taking an iron supplement, to help with any blood loss. She also recommends staying hydrated with water and healing soups like broths.
Outside of physical nutrients, there is an emotional healing that can be found in comforting yourself with your favorite healthy dishes. So, make sure to choose meals that feel easy, pleasurable, and supportive — this is not a time for restriction or major lifestyle changes.
Sea salt baths can help detox and soothe the body following a miscarriage. It is generally accepted that following a natural miscarriage, baths are a safe form of self-care. However recommended to run a warm (not hot) bath. Also, look for soaks that can provide some emotional relief, such as the use of essential oils. If you are looking for medicinal baths that are made with high-integrity, organic ingredients and specifically formulated for female healing, look into our Inheal™ and Exheal™ soak blends. Both blends have natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties as well as custom essential oils to unblock negative emotions and soothe anxiety.
One ancient practice that has been used for centuries to help women internally heal after a miscarriage is pelvic or “yoni” steaming. The uterus and vaginal walls need some extra TLC at this time and to make sure that the uterus has fully released any remaining fetal tissue. Many women report that — outside of the physical benefits — the practice also offers a huge emotional release. The ritual leans on healing botanicals that are gently delivered to the reproductive organs through steam. To further support yourself, choose herbs that aid the recovery process. Our custom blend Womb Protector™ is formulated with many herbs for miscarriage healing.
- Calendula: An antiseptic that soothes irritated tissues, it also helps to ease and treat cramping and heaviness. Plus, early research supports calendula’s ability to help with strengthening the vaginal wall.
- Yarrow: A powerful infection fighter, it is especially useful in treating internal and external wounds and can effectively but tenderly heal bruised, inflamed, and stitched tissues. It is also restorative if you have experienced minor blood loss.
- Cat’s Claw: Anti-inflammatory — it can help with pain relief and boost immune function.
- Dandelion: Helpful in improving endocrine and reproductive health. It can pave the way for optimal fertility by adding nutrients that may be in deficit in the body and by ridding the body of excess estrogen, sugars, and toxins that may be disrupting natural hormone health.
- Raspberry Leaf: Helps tonify the uterus.
How to Steam After a Miscarriage
Miscarriage follows the same procedure as postpartum — and the rule of thumb for postpartum is to steam 2-3 days after delivering and for 5-10 days in a row. This will help you get your period back to normal and cleanse your uterus, as well as provide emotional support.
*Contraindication: If your miscarriage resulted in surgery, then please no steaming until six weeks after surgery. Similar to if you had a C-section or fibroid surgeries, as the incision and stitches need time to heal.
Returning to physical exercise is something that you’ll want to take your time with and ease back into. Jessica suggests, “As you feel up to it, gentle movement like restorative yoga or slow walks can be really supportive to the body and mind.” If you’re looking for even gentler methods, she also suggests scheduling a few acupuncture sessions to help regulate hormones and get the Qi moving again.
Space and Time
Finally, allow yourself plenty of space and time to tend to your internal world and remember that many people move through a miscarriage with different feelings. Jessica offers similar encouragement, “Try not to judge how you process the loss. However, the recommendation is to create a little space to process your feelings. If possible, try to take a day or two off work to create space to get journaling, light a candle, or vent to a trusted support person. Lean into nourishment, movement, and therapy for long-term support of processing what comes up over time.”
To conclude, we want to offer that as with all things in life each woman’s experience will be her own — and all are valid. We hope that you have access to plenty of community, caring practitioners, and personal tools to assist you on your journey.