Women’s Health Following Miscarriage
Everyone is different when it comes to physical recovery after an early pregnancy loss. It may take several weeks for you to return to full strength, and it is recommended that you see your general practitioner a week or two after your loss to ensure you are recovering well physically. Medical follow-up is important to ensure that your general state of health is good and your uterus has returned to normal.
Anaemia or infections
Some women who experience great blood loss during miscarriage become anaemic and may require medications or dietary supplements. Antibiotics may also be prescribed following miscarriage to treat or prevent infection.
Vaginal bleeding usually continues for seven to twenty one days, gradually becoming lighter. It is advisable to use sanitary napkins (pads) at this time rather than tampons. If heavy bleeding occurs or if you experience strong pain, medical advice should be sought.
Your doctor or medical staff may suggest the period of time before your body will be physically ready to resume sexual intercourse. However, when you will be emotionally ready is an individual experience. Discuss your feelings with your partner so that the timing is appropriate for both of you. Concern and love for each other may be expressed in other ways until you feel you are ready for sexual intercourse.
“It took so long for me to feel my body had healed.”
Lactation (for early pregnancy loss from 14 to 20 weeks of pregnancy)
Following late miscarriage your breasts may produce milk. Breast milk will usually not be produced if your pregnancy was less than fourteen weeks duration.
If your breasts have already started producing milk, you may find that they will leak following an embrace, hearing the cry of a baby, or when you think of your baby who died. Your breasts may also be very sensitive and uncomfortable and the production of milk can be very distressing to some people.
You can reduce the production of milk by:
- Wearing a firm bra day and night
- Minimising the handling or stimulation of your breasts
- Prescription medication provided by your general practitioner or health-carer
Painful breasts can be relieved by:
- Applying cold compresses
- Taking a warm shower
- Using a pillow for support
You may also need to express some milk to relieve discomfort. This should be done very carefully as over stimulation can increase the production of the milk. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or midwife for advice.
Last reviewed: 27/3/23
- Braithwaite, J., Richardson, R. & Waterson, P. (eds.). (2011). Miscarriage: Information for Parents and Families ( M.McSpedden, H. Wilkinson, L. Pash, T. Diamond & M. Zang, Rev.) (7th ed.). Lilyfield, NSW: SIDS and Kids NSW.