How soon to try again?
This is a hard question to answer! As bereaved parents you will find that all sorts of people for instance doctors, nurses, relations and friends will have different ideas and advice on when is the right time for you to try again for another baby.
Parents who lose their first baby often are very eager to try and have another baby quickly, while parents who have another child or children at home are more likely to wait for a while before trying again.
Some may say to try as soon as possible and others suggest that you should wait and give yourself time. This can be very conflicting advice which often just makes you feel more confused than ever. You may feel that you don’t wish to act upon the advice you have been given. And in the end the decision is up to both of you to make together.
If you are considering another pregnancy maybe it would be useful to talk through any concerns or issues, you both may have with your family doctor or obstetrician. They are usually very happy to try and help answer any question that you may have and to reassure you as best they can.
Here are some important points to consider:
In certain circumstances it is very important to listen to the advice given to you by your doctor or consultant, for example:
- If the mother was ill during her last pregnancy
- If she is under medical supervision for any reason
- If her previous baby was delivered by caesarean section
- If your baby died from a genetic disorder, or a condition that may occur again in future pregnancies You need to seek extra advice in this situation.
Evidence suggests that women who conceive very quickly after a previous pregnancy are more at risk of miscarrying. This is probably because your body needs some time to recover. Your womb also requires time to resume its normal shape and strength, if a new baby is to be carried safely within it.
Some people think parents recover emotionally more quickly from the loss of their baby if they allow themselves some time to think and remember the baby they have lost and to grieve and say goodbye properly before committing themselves to another pregnancy. Professionals advise a waiting period of six months to one year before starting another pregnancy.
If your new baby is expected in the same month as when your previous baby died, this can be very distressing, so it may be helpful to think carefully about the timing of another pregnancy. For these reasons it can be very helpful to discuss contraception with your doctor or midwife who can advise you on your options.
Parents who lose their first baby often are very eager to try and have another baby quickly, while parents who have another child or children at home are more likely to wait for a while before trying again. However each couple is different and tend to make their own decision in their own time.
Remember also that you may not become pregnant straight away or you might conceive very quickly. This is something to keep in mind. No two pregnancies are the same, however if you have been trying for six months with no success, it might be worth seeking advice from your family doctor.
The next pregnancy is usually a very exciting and worrying time for both parents. You may feel very helpless and anxious about the months ahead. It is very important to acknowledge your fears and any emotions that you may have. It is also important to focus on the positives that a new pregnancy brings and to draw strength from it and the new hope it signifies.
Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Try meditation or yoga
- When you attend your first antenatal clinic, you may wish to bring someone with you for moral support i.e. partner/ friend.
- Re-visiting the Maternity Hospital can be very distressing – which is another valid reason not to go alone.
- It helps to make a list of any questions you or partner may have so that you don’t come away worrying or thinking “Oh I forgot to ask……..” or “What if ?” You need to tell your doctor or midwife of any fears or anxieties you may have. Don’t feel you are being a nuisance or taking up unnecessary time as the hospital staff are more than happy to help reassure you in any way they can.
- As your pregnancy progresses you might like to ask someone at your antenatal visit for a tour of the unit where your baby is due to be delivered as this can be very reassuring to know what to expect. Because the more prepared you are, the more relaxed and less anxious you will both feel.
- Parents find that as the delivery arrives they can find themselves back in a very distressing place, where they have no control over what happens and hold fears of history repeating itself again. So try and stay focused on each other and remember the love and strength that has brought you both through.
A New Baby
All parents experience all sorts of emotions after a new baby is born.
All these emotions are very normal and real, you might also feel guilt about the love you both have for your new baby because you feel that you are being disloyal to the memory of the baby who has died; this is not the case.
“Your baby will always share a special place in your heart and in your family”