What are the best steps you can take after miscarriage to help your body recover and to prepare for your next pregnancy? There are many supportive steps you can take that will help you cope with the miscarriage you just experienced, or may be currently experiencing. The most important thing to remember is that miscarriages are common and are never your fault, unless of course, you are taking street drugs. Usually, they happen because something wasn’t right with the baby, the uterus implantation site, or hormones. These steps will help to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy the next time around. I will share with you ways to heal your body physically and emotionally after miscarriage.
Most women are eager to begin trying to conceive again after miscarriage. Women write us daily wondering what they can do right away to help move the miscarriage along and to get-back-in-the-trying-to-conceive-saddle. This five-step guide will help you to learn important steps to get your body ready for your next pregnancy.
Five Steps to Miscarriage Recovery
We have 5 easy steps for you to aid in your recovery. Steps 1, 4 & 5 are fine to begin right away, before your first period begins. Please read on to learn when Steps 2 & 3 can be started.
Note: If your doctor has discussed with you Dilation and Curettage or D&C, or you have already had the procedure, learn natural ways to prepare and recover from D&C in our guide D&C (Dilation and Curettage): Natural Preparation and Recovery.
Step 1: Nourishing Foods
One of the single best things you can do for yourself after miscarriage is to nourish your body with healthy foods. The body will be going through a lot of changes physically, the mind may feel overwhelmed and exhausted and you may be an emotional wreck. Nourishing your body with simple, quick whole foods is vital. Because you may lose more blood than usual, you will want to increase your intake of iron rich foods as well. Think of foods rich in vitamins and minerals; foods that will help support energy levels and body function. Soups, smoothies and stews come to mind. These foods are easy to digest and can be easy to prepare. Plus they are usually filled with a variety of nourishing whole foods.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Perhaps your partner can cook for the first week, or you can ask a family member or close friend to bring you a meal, or come over and help prepare a meal.
Nourishing foods for miscarriage recovery:
Eat iron rich foods such as bison, chicken, eggs, lean red meat, chicken or turkey, Atlantic wild salmon, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, beans, nettles, raspberry leaf, seaweed, dark leafy greens, beets, lima beans, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, Turkish apricots (unsulphured) and quinoa.
Any genitourinary blood loss can increase a woman’s need for iron. Although blood loss during a miscarriage is often like a “heavy period”, any change in iron stores lead to iron deficiency or anemia. Should there be retained placenta or an incomplete miscarriage, bleeding may be more. Experts at the University of California San Francisco remind us that it’s important to consume iron-rich foods to ensure that a healthy iron level in the body is maintained. Don’t forget to consume them with foods rich in vitamin C to ensure healthy iron absorption.
Make nourishing soups! Soup is easy for the body to digest and warms the body. Consider adding some astragalus root while your soup is cooking. A variety of greens and other vegetables will help you to get nutrients your body needs at this time. Avoid canned soups. Consider trying to make the soup first thing in the morning in your slow cooker. That way when evening comes, your dinner is ready! Try this recipe from our 21 Day Fertility Diet Challenge eBook!
Bok Choy Miso Soup
1. In a heavy soup pot place oil, turn to medium heat, put in carrots and garlic, saute until almost tender.
2. Add broth, tamari, and mushrooms, bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to low so that soup is simmering, simmer until mushrooms are almost done.
3. Add green onion, Bok Choy, black pepper and bamboo shoots, cook for a few minutes, add miso. Stir until miso is well blended. Add additional sliced shallot for garnish if desired.
Drink a Fertility Smoothie Daily! Fertility Smoothies are definitely one of our favorites here! They help you to get a ton of nutrition in a simple way. Toss all the ingredients in a blender and voila you have a ton of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Plus, you can add supportive fertility superfoods which help support hormonal balance in the body. We like maca and royal jelly.
Enjoy this delicious smoothie recipe, a personal favorite of mine!
Purple Protein Smoothie
Continue your prenatal vitamin. If you were not taking one, begin now. This will help you to get all necessary nutrients you need daily. This will continue to help your recovery and prepare your body for when you do become pregnant again. Be sure your prenatal vitamin is whole food or food based when possible. This ensures your body is assimilating the nutrients properly.
Step 2: Fertility Cleansing
Once your period comes back it is fine to begin a Fertility Cleanse. Fertility Cleansing creates a “clean slate” within the body. The specific herbs help to “reset” hormonal balance through liver supporting herbs and specific herbs for the female reproductive system. Fertility Cleansing focuses on liver health and uterine health. Cleansing specifically for fertility is very supportive and encouraging for fertility and the reproductive system. While there are many great cleanses out there, focusing on doing a cleanse specific for fertility is going to be the safest, gentle and most supportive while you are preparing for pregnancy.
If you are still taking herbs for recovery wellness, it is fine to continue them for up to six weeks. If you begin your period in that time, it is fine to continue on with the recovery wellness herbs while also beginning to fertility cleanse. The recommended wait-time for trying to conceive again is usually at least 2 or 3 normal periods after the miscarriage
Step 3: Fertility Massage
Fertility Massage has many benefits for women recovering from miscarriage.
- Promotes hormonal balance
- Helps to bring fresh blood to the uterus
- Helps to reduce stress & stress hormones
- Increases circulation to the uterus & cervix
- Improves endocrine system communication
- Encourages the liver to get rid of excess hormones
- Promotes hormonal balance by strengthening the hormonal feedback loop
- Helps the body to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues
Massage may also assist healing from emotional trauma, helping a woman who has suffered a pregnancy loss and physical pain to her reproductive system. It does this by teaching you how to connect with your reproductive system once again. It is giving you a time to take part in your healing process. When doing your massage session, take time to pray, visualize, or bless that area of your body. Directly physically connecting to your fertility is very important when working toward healing. Listen to your body. It has wisdom beyond belief.
There are two options for massage when it comes to supporting the reproductive system. You can find a massage therapist who specializes in abdominal or fertility massage such as a Maya Abdominal Massage Therapist, or you can learn how to apply Self Fertility Massage™ at home.
Self-Fertility Massage at home is fine to begin once bleeding, including spotting, has stopped entirely. The time when this happens will be different for each woman. You do not have to wait until your menstrual cycle returns, just remember to not perform the massage during bleeding times.
Step 4: Herbs for Recovery Wellness
There are specific herbs that when combined together may support healthy miscarriage recovery. How long until I can begin these herbs after miscarriage? The following herbs may be considered for use right away, even while you are still bleeding. This combination of herbs is best begun right away, as close to the miscarriage as possible. Be sure that you know for sure you are having a miscarriage before beginning them.
These herbs focus on supporting healthy circulation to the reproductive organs, so that the miscarriage is complete, anti-inflammatory herbs to help prevent cramping and uterine spasm, so pain is reduced and the uterus can work efficiently. In addition specific herbs help to
promote emotional wellbeing, curb heavy bleeding, and promote hormonal balance to help get your cycle back on track.
Black Cohosh root (Actaea racemosa): Black cohosh is anti-inflammatory and helps to relax the uterus, which reduces uterine pain and spasm in both the smooth muscles. This herb promotes healthy blood flow to the pelvic area, which may be helpful in moving the miscarriage along.
For post-miscarriage recovery, Black cohosh also helps to tone the pelvic floor muscles, through stimulation of mild pelvic floor muscle contraction. As shared by Yale trained MD, midwife and herbalist Aviva Romm in her 2009 thesis, Black cohosh (often in combination with other herbs) has been used for hundreds of years by trained herbalists and midwives to help promote calm, regular uterine contractions. Uterine contractions are important to help prevent retention of pregnancy product post miscarriage, and get the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy state. This herb may help promote regulation of the menstrual cycle, aiding the body in getting the cycle back on track post-miscarriage.
St. John’s wort flower, upper aerial parts (Hypericum perforatum): St. John’s wort may help to reduce nervous excitement and anxiety. It is a mild sedative that helps to relieve mild depression; aids the body in “lifting the spirit”. and also supports prevention of infection and is anti-inflammatory.
Caution: This herb should not be used if you are on antidepressants, nor should be combined with birth control pill use. Some studies have shown it lessens the effects of birth control use.
Yarrow leaf/flower (Achillea millefolium): Yarrow promotes circulation, yet is extremely astringent, stopping excessive blood flow. It is an herb of opposites, it promotes sweating and detoxification, but strengthens and tightens tissues. This is excellent for miscarriage recovery. It will help to get the reproductive organs and surrounding tissues ready for your next pregnancy. Yarrow relieves inflammation and congestion of the uterus, which aids in pain reduction. Yarrow is one of the best herbs to curb heavy bleeding. It may help to move the miscarriage along, so you can get back to tending to your life.
Vitex also known as Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus): Vitex has a regulating effect on the hormonal feedback loop, mainly the pituitary gland. This kind of support may help to get your hormones back on track to regulating the menstrual cycle once again.
These herbs are best used for up to six weeks after miscarriage has occurred.
Step 5: Stress Reduction
Miscarriage brings up a lot of emotions: anger, fear, guilt, sadness and worry. What did I do wrong? Is my body capable? Why did this happen? What can I do to prevent another miscarriage from happening? All of these thoughts racing through your mind can be very stressful. Managing that stress is an essential part of your recovery, especially for your heart. Allow yourself time to heal the pain and longing your mind, body and soul are experiencing. Be selfish, take the time you need to nurture yourself. Make time to reduce stress and promote overall well-being. We are more than our physical bodies, treating yourself holistically is going to greatly improve your chances of healing, so you can move toward a successful, healthy pregnancy.
- Seek counseling
- Try the Flower Essence Star of Bethlehem, it addresses the feelings of loss
- Actively engage your body in healing therapies
- Join a miscarriage support group or forum
- Journal about your journey
- Acknowledge your loss, take time to mourn, allow yourself space to process the experience
- Consciously thank your body for all that is does everyday
- Believe in your body’s capacity to heal itself
- Get body work done or do body work on yourself: Reiki, Maya Abdominal Massage or Self Fertility Massage™, or acupuncture
- Meditate or visualize a healthy pregnancy happening for you as your body is healing
- Say daily positive affirmations
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Honor Your Miscarriage Through Ritual
Another aspect of recovery and healing through stress reduction and emotional release is to honor your miscarriage through ritual. Learn how to do that here…
- Romm, A.J., Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Churchill Livingstone, 2010
- Romm, A.J. (2009). “Blue Cohosh: History, Science, Safety, and Midwife Prescribing of a Potentially Fetotoxic Herb.” Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library. Paper 88. Retrieved from https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1087&context=ymtdl
- Mcdonald, J. (n.d.). Indications for commonly used herbs… Retrieved from: http://www.herbcraft.org/commonherbs.html
- Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron (n.d.). University of California San Francisco Health. Retrieved from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/hemoglobin_and_functions_of_iron/
- Moore, Michael, Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountain West, Museum of New Mexico, 1979