A miscarriage can weigh heavily on partners and family members
Many women who experience a miscarriage understandably mourn their loss. After news of the miscarriage spreads, the woman who carried the fetus often receives support from friends and family.
But how does a husband or partner of a woman who experienced a miscarriage feel? It’s a question that a psychotherapist specializing in pregnancy loss explores in an article published by Vox.
The writer, Julia Bueno, shares that partners of women who lose their babies through miscarriage are “written out of the pregnancy loss stories.” Fathers-to-be suffer nuanced and complex grief that is equal to the mother, but their grief may appear different.
A partner’s grieving process is misunderstood in part because so little research has been done on the subject. Bueno finds that a woman who miscarries may feel estranged from her partner. She might believe he doesn’t “get it.” Partners in many cases do “get it” and they experience the loss on their own terms and often at a different pace.
As birth injury lawyers in Atlanta, we work with families who have experienced loss through medical negligence. Sometimes a miscarriage is triggered by fetal distress. When a fetus shows signs of distress, doctors must take proper action but tragically, doctors sometimes don’t follow proper procedure and through their negligence, the mother-to-be miscarries.
How does a partner mourn the loss?
Here are some key takeaways from the Vox article:
- Fathers-to-be bond with their unborn child (known as paternal-fetal bonding).
- A mother and father may share a similar mixture of sadness, anger, anxiety and other feelings.
- Men and women handle grief differently.
- A survey found nearly half of men kept their feeling hidden from their partners after a miscarriage – they worry about misspeaking and causing additional distress.
Bueno shares a story of one of her therapy clients, a man who experienced deep grief after a miscarriage. Before she listened to Cass’s story (she changed his name to protect his privacy), she said she never spoke to men about miscarriage.
Cass, she noted, was grief-stricken after his wife experienced the miscarriage. As a little boy, he had dreamed of the children he would one day raise. When his wife lost the baby, he grappled with feelings of anger, envy, hopelessness, and inadequacy.
His feelings were not as obvious to friends and family as his wife’s feelings were. He also felt them at different times.
The grieving process by partners in nontraditional types of relationships is even less understood, Bueno noted. For example, the partner in a lesbian relationship who did not carry the baby may experience strong feelings of grief but her grief may be dismissed by society because she does not have a genetic link to the fetus.
“They may well have to contend with social biases in a way that heterosexual male partners never will,” Bueno wrote.
Birth injury lawyers and miscarriage
As experienced birth injury attorneys in Atlanta, we know the grieving process can affect parents in different ways.
While a mother and her partner may process loss differently, their grief is real and should never be discounted. That’s what drives us to work diligently on behalf of our clients and to hold the responsible party accountable.
If you experienced a birth injury or lost your child due to medical negligence, contact Tyrone Birth Injury Lawyers today to find out how we can help.