Losing a pregnancy can be devastating and leaves your heart and body in need of special care. Find help for your miscarriage recovery with these healing foods, remedies, and emotional support strategies.
I’m so sorry.
You’re reading this article for a reason, and it’s likely because you or someone you deeply love have experienced one of the most heart-wrenching losses a woman (or man) can experience: a miscarriage.
And you’re wondering what to do now.
I’ve been there. Years ago we said hello to a new pregnancy, adjusted to the idea of another baby, and suddenly found ourselves saying goodbye to someone we didn’t get the chance to meet. I will never forget the physical pain and the deep, crushing heartbreak that surrounded that time.
But I recovered. And you can, too.
Miscarriage recovery takes time and gentleness. You can’t rush the process. But there are foods to eat, safe remedies to take, and ways to help your heart and body heal after miscarriage.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through affiliate links comes at no extra cost to you while I can earn a small commission. I’m an herbalist and aromatherapist, but not a doctor. See your physician for medical advice.
Physical Recovery After A Miscarriage
Your body needs time and space to physically heal after miscarriage.
The cramping and contractions can take days. The blood loss can be significant. You may feel nauseous, have headaches, or struggle to sleep until the whole process is over. Miscarriage hurts the heart, and it is also hard on the body.
It’s vital that you monitor a miscarriage closely. Many complete at home with no complications like mine did, but not all do. If you have a fever, severe blood loss, become faint, or have any other concerning symptoms, seek medical attention. You are worth it.
Rest After Miscarriage
I never expected to feel so postpartum after my miscarriage, especially since I was only about six weeks into the pregnancy. When I mentioned this to my midwife, she wisely reassured me:
A miscarriage is a birth. It just has a very different outcome.
Postpartum Rest is vital after having a baby. New mommas can’t be relied on for cooking, cleaning, and looking after other children in those early weeks because their bodies need time to heal. Sadly, many people don’t realize that a woman recovering from a miscarriage needs rest, too.
You’ll need to sleep more, nap more, sit more, and lay down more. You may not have the strength to carry around older children for a few weeks. You’ll need help running the household, and you shouldn’t expect to do any strenuous work for a while. Make sure your family understands this and can support your healing.
You may also need to ask for some outside help. Many people won’t think to volunteer or just aren’t quite sure what to do. Don’t be afraid to ask, or have your husband seek out help, even if it feels humbling. Some homemade soup, easy casseroles, childcare for a few hours, or an afternoon of laundry and cleaning help could be just what you need.
The restrictions given for the first six weeks after birth will likely apply to you after a miscarriage, so talk with your midwife or physician if you have any questions about what you should and shouldn’t do.
What to Eat After Miscarriage
After going through a miscarriage, your body needs to rebuild and refuel with nourishing foods. This may not be easy when you are exhausted in so many ways and may even be dealing with physical discomforts and pain, but it can be done.
What kinds of foods will help you heal? For the most part, the same whole foods that help you build a healthy baby, recover from a regular birth, or just stay all-around healthy:
- Rebuild with protein at every meal and snack. Cheese, nut butters, and eggs are full of nutrition and easy for even older children to prepare. Meats, seafood, and poultry are obviously good choices. If you like liver and have a good source, this can be an excellent time to eat some for a boost of iron.
- Whole fruits and veggies require little to no prep time but are nutritionally sound. Leafy greens, like kale, broccoli, and collards are exceptionally good choices, as are fruit smoothies and dark orange vegetables.
- Bone broth is a great place to turn when you need to rebuild. If you don’t have any in the freezer, anyone who can boil water can easily make some for you with a good soup bone and a little time.
- Include some fat with your food to help your body gain strength and absorb all the nutrients from your food.
- Watch out for empty carbs and stick with whole grain options like brown rice, whole wheat if you do well with gluten, and oats. When you’re tired, it’s easy to turn to pretzels and crackers, but these foods won’t provide real fuel for recovery.
The main goal of your nutrition after miscarriage is nutrient-dense, simple, and unprocessed. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to be healing.
Photo courtesy Ben White on Unsplash
Staying Hydrated After Miscarriage
Your body needs ample hydration and a lot of fluid to recover from a miscarriage’s blood loss. You can sip plain water through the day, or you can try some other options if plain water is too boring.
- Infuse your water with fruit or vegetable slices. Lemon, cucumber, or strawberry slices are a great place to start.
- Herbal tea can be enjoyed warm or chilled. More on herbs below.
- Warm broth does double duty since it provides nourishment and hydration.
- Milk can also provide nutrients if dairy agrees with your digestion. We prefer raw or gently pasteurized non-homogenized milk.
- Fermented drinks like kombucha and water kefir give your body a boost of probiotics, too.
Be careful with any kind of caffeinated drink, like coffee, after a miscarriage. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it pulls more fluid from you, and that isn’t the goal for healing. Switch to decaf for a while if you can or dry an herbal coffee substitute. This one is my favorite.
Herbs and Supplements After Miscarriage
Herbs can be an excellent natural home remedy after miscarriage. They can’t take the place of rest, time, and gentle patience, but they can come alongside you and support you as you heal.
- Red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is often used during pregnancy because it tones and strengthens the uterus. These same actions can be helpful after a miscarriage. I regularly drink it in my homemade herbal pregnancy tea blend.
- Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and nettles (Urtica dioica) are both nutrient-rich herbs that can help your body rebuild. Nettles can even be added to soups and stews for an easy herbal boost.
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), catnip (Nepeta cataria), linden (Tilia platyphyllos), and rose petals (Rosa ssp.) are all relaxing nervine tonics that can calm and soothe your nerves if you find it difficult to sleep or are struggling with grief. Some of these are featured in my Anti-Anxia-Tea herbal tea blend.
- Vitex, or chaste berry (Vitex angust-castus), is often used to help balance a woman’s hormones and generally taken as an extract. If you are working with a knowledgeable herbalist or medical professional, you may decide that vitex will help you recover.
- Crampbark (Viburnum opulus) and black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) can help with any lingering cramping and discomfort. If cramping is severe and lingering, contact your medical professional immediately.
You can take herbs as an infusion (or herbal tea) or an extract (like a tincture). After a miscarriage, I really love infusions because they’re warming, hydrating, and gentle. You can sip them all day. If you’re working with an herbalist or an integrative healthcare professional, you might decide together that tinctures are a better fit for your needs.
Capsules are another option, but be sure they’re from a high-quality supplier and don’t contain fillers.
Continue taking your prenatal supplements to keep nutrient stores up. If you need to find an excellent prenatal vitamin, I like this brand.
Emotional Recovery After Miscarriage
Just like you can’t force your body to heal faster after a miscarriage, you can’t rush the mending of your heart, either.
Miscarriage emotionally affects women differently. There’s no correct way to grieve or amount of time to grieve. You may only be slightly saddened and disappointed, or you may feel like your entire world just collapsed around you. You might also feel something in the middle.
Whatever your exact feelings, processing through them is vital to complete miscarriage recovery.
Remembering Your Baby After Miscarriage
Many women find it extremely healing to memorialize their baby somehow after a miscarriage. It can help bring a sense of closure while also helping you hold on to your lost baby’s memory.
- You can name the baby, even if you don’t know the gender. We named our baby Hopeful.
- Some families hold a small funeral or memorial service for the baby. This can be done at a cemetery, complete with a grave marker, or held in a more private location.
- Trees, shrubs, and perennial plants often make meaningful symbols of your baby’s life. We planted a flowering vine that blooms around our baby’s due date.
- Writing a letter to the baby can be an important part of the grieving process. Dads and siblings can do this, too. I shared my letter to Hopeful here.
- A growing number of ministries, organizations, and small businesses offer small blankets, beautiful prints, and other precious tokens to remember your baby.
Photo courtesy Gus Moretta on Unsplash
Extra Emotional Support After Miscarriage
As you give yourself time and space to grieve your loss, you might find extra emotional support helpful. Husbands can be hit hard by pregnancy loss, too, and these extra supports can help you both.
- Journaling offers you an opportunity to openly process your raw thoughts and feelings with no worry about how they sound to others.
- Talking with fellow moms who have experienced miscarriage can help you recognize that your feelings and grief are very normal, and that there are better days ahead.
- Many essential oils are emotionally soothing and some are particularly suited for stress and anxiety. If there is a scent you enjoy, diffusing it can bring relief and promote calm.
- There is no shame in reaching out to a trusted midwife or OB/GYN, counselor, pastor, or other professional for more in-depth help.
- Try to keep the lines of communication with your husband open so that you can process through your grief together.
There is no quick fix or magic bullet to fix the brokenness you may feel after miscarriage. But there are ways to heal, even lessons to learn, and all the time in the world you need to recover.