This post contains affiliate links at the very end for your convenience. These same products are probably available in your local community; however, if you’re like I was while waiting for a miscarriage to begin, online shopping from the comfort of your home may be your friend.
When I went through my miscarriage, I was extremely blessed to have a best friend who was able to walk me through everything… from what to expect, to what I’d need, to serving as a doula via texting when I reached the most active peak of the miscarriage and felt like I was about to split open. I was blessed, but not everyone has that person. Many women go through this feeling alone, or ashamed, and turn to the internet for advice. In my case, I was told the baby’s heart stopped beating more than three weeks before the miscarriage actually began, so I had a long time period to gather what I needed as I waited. Not every woman experiences this wait. Some are blindsided by the heavy bleeding and sudden loss. If you found your way to this post because you have been told you will miscarry and are waiting for it to begin, I’m so sorry. I know first hand that the wait is agony. I hope this post is helpful, but I also hope you find the community you need so you don’t have to walk through this alone.
The items I’m going to mention today were extremely useful for me. If you have been through miscarriage, you may have some additional suggestions and I would love if you shared those in the comments.
10 Essentials for Surviving A Miscarriage
1.) Leak-Proof Water Bottle: The more hydrated you are, the better blood flow you’ll have. The last thing you want is for this whole event to last longer than it needs to. I think mine went as smooth and quickly as it did because I took my friend’s advice and drank a ton of water in the weeks of waiting for my miscarriage to begin. Make sure you have a good, leak-proof water bottle because when you are in bed going through contractions, you may not want to deal with a cup and risk spilling it. I kept a water bottle in the bed with me so I could easily grab it and stay hydrated in between each contraction. At one point, I was clutching it against my chest…
2.) Protein Shakes: When you can’t eat, a protein shake is a great way to get extra nutrients quickly. I found that before I was actively miscarrying, I struggled to eat, but I had enough signs to know the “labor” was about to begin… knowing it was coming, I fueled up with protein shakes. Drinking something was much easier than eating while in that early stage. I also find that when I am nauseated and can’t eat, a thick shake sounds disgusting… a lighter option is the EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control shakes that are grab-and-go. They hit the spot in a time like this.
3.) EXTRA Toilet Paper: Stock up on the largest pack you can find and keep it within reach in the bathroom. Not in some closet down the hall. Not in some closet in the bathroom. WITHIN ARMS REACH. You WILL need lots and lots of toilet paper. I cannot stress this enough. We happened to have some plumbing issues the day I was passing everything (of course), so I also kept an extra trash can near the toilet so I could throw away the toilet paper instead of flushing it.
4.) Feminine Wipes: These were extremely useful in the days following the miscarriage. Even with showering, that much bleeding can make you feel extremely dirty. I found I always felt like I couldn’t wipe enough to clean myself, so turning to feminine wipes was crucial to feeling a little bit better.
5.) Pads and Panty Liners: Stock up on the heaviest pads you can find and make sure you have 4 packs of pads (2 ultra heavy flow that are super long and 2 for regular flow), and then 2 packs of liners. During the miscarriage, you can expect to soak the pads in less than 30 minutes… sometimes within 5 minutes. You can also just sit on the toilet for long periods of time and let everything pour out, but sometimes you need to crawl back into bed for a few minutes, so having good heavy pads is essential. As your bleeding slows down in the days following, you’ll welcome pads that don’t feel like diapers, hence the regular flow option! And finally, those panty liners will come in handy when you’re at the very end of the miscarriage and spotting for days on end. I’m a month out from the miscarriage and experienced intermittent bleeding all month. It feels never ending…
6.) Raspberry Leaf Tea: The moment my bleeding began, I started drinking raspberry leaf tea to make my contractions more effective and to manage bleeding. Some people drink it leading up to the miscarriage to keep their uterus toned and possibly “induce” the miscarriage, but I did not. Also, I read an article that mentioned a couple of really awesome things about this tea: 1. It provides iron, which is an essential nutrient to replenish after excessive blood loss. 2. It helps prevent hemorrhaging, which can easily happen once that miscarriage gets going. Before and after passing the sac and placenta, a lot of bleeding happens. The day of my loss, I drank 4 cups of this tea within 10 hours. The next day, I drank another 4 cups. I credit this for helping my bleeding slow down when I needed it to. In the days following, when bleeding would pick up, I’d drink the tea and it always helped.
7.) Ibuprofen: I’m going to be honest and just say that 800mg of Ibuprofen did not even TOUCH my pain during the active points in the miscarriage… not in the least bit. Miscarriage contractions are a beast. When your cervix isn’t dilating fast enough and everything is pressing against it, it hurts. I wasn’t interested in anything stronger for two reasons: 1. I didn’t want to risk the miscarriage slowing down (I’ll take fast and furious over a snail pace any day). I just wanted it over with. 2. I don’t do well with narcotics… they make me nauseated, dizzy, and extremely sleepy, and I didn’t want to risk not being able to make it to the toilet in time or injuring myself by falling over on the way there. Also, I was already nauseated from the miscarriage itself. I am glad I didn’t have narcotics in my system to make it worse. All this to say, after the miscarriage was complete and the contractions stopped, I was left with just heavy period-like cramps, and that is when the Ibuprofen was my best friend and worked!
8.) Heating Pad: This was essential when I was in bed and rocking back and forth during contractions. When I hit the point where there was no break between contractions and I was in tears, that heating pad was all I had to help me have an ounce of comfort. It was also awesome after the miscarriage.
9.) Cool Wet Rag: While the heating pad is great for your abdominal pains, a cool wet rag is welcomed on your forehead or the back of your neck. When you’re breaking out into a sweat from the hormone crash and the anxiety induced by what your body is going through, a rag may be your saving grace. Keep one on the bathroom sink so you can wet it when you’re ready and don’t have to look for it in the middle of the miscarriage.
10.) Essential Oils and Diffuser: This is entirely up to your preference when it comes to what oils to diffuse, but I found solace in PanAway and peppermint. I also didn’t feel very well leading up to the miscarriage starting (bad allergy season for me) so I relied heavily on diffusing oils for comfort. I also have a headache blend roller I bought from Logan (WithGreatExpectation.com) and that was crucial for my comfort. I rolled it on my forehead and lower back before, during, and after the miscarriage.
These are the things that helped me the most during my miscarriage. I was going to put a line about entertainment, but I actually found that it was NOT helpful to have a favorite Netflix show on because I kept missing parts and I didn’t have time to pause to make it to the bathroom in time. Instead I got frustrated and turned it off, and ended up in silence.
If you have anything additional to suggest, I’d love to know. While I hope to never have to experience such a horrific life event again, I want to be able to come back here and read your comments if I do have to… and I want it to be helpful to others who are waiting on their miscarriage to begin as well.
If you are going through a miscarriage and need support, check out the Miscarriage & Loss group on Facebook, or send me a message and I’ll support you.