Infertility and Miscarriage

Helpful Advice From Alice Domar, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D. ~ the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, she established the first ever Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health ~ as well as the very first Mind/Body Program for Fertility.

Alice D. Domar, PhDPregnancy loss can take a tremendous emotional toll on individuals and couples attempting to build a family.

Nobody knows this more than the physicians at Boston IVF and the entire staff at the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health.

That’s why, in 2012, the psychologists at the Domar Center began offering a within-the-hour, onsite, free mini-crisis management session to patients who come in for a prenatal ultrasound at Boston IVF ~ but no heartbeat is seen.

I feel that it is crucial when you receive such unexpected devastating news, to have at least a few minutes to talk, make a plan as to how you can cope over the next few days and learn how to deal with the reactions of others.

It is the reaction of others which really bugs me.

I had a miscarriage fourteen years ago and although the vast majority of family and friends were wonderful, compassionate, and understanding, the comment of one family member still sticks with me.

I was asked if I had had “a real miscarriage”.

That question completely stunned me. Is there such a thing as a fake miscarriage?

The pain, both physical and emotional, sure felt real to me.

What I advise my patients is that our society is not really comfortable with pregnancy loss and thus, the reactions of others may well seem unfeeling or callous. After all, back in our mother’s day, women were basically ordered not to tell anyone they were pregnant until after the first trimester, so that if they miscarried, no one would know.

When a relative of mine got pregnant many years ago and subsequently miscarried, she told all of her close friends and was stunned by how many of them then told her that they had experienced a loss as well. She told me that the stories were coming out of the woodwork, yet she had not known about any of the other losses until she shared her own story.

When one experiences a pregnancy loss, it is not only the end of a much-desired quest for parenthood, it is also the loss of all the hopes and dreams for that child.

Many of us begin to discuss baby names as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed, nursery colors might have been imagined, and fantasies of pregnancy announcements and joyous family events are common. So when a pregnancy ends, it is not just the physical impact of the loss, it can be a profound emotional one as well.

If you ever experience a miscarriage, your biggest priority should be to protect yourself. Allow yourself to grieve in the way you need to, and don’t let anyone tell you how you should be feeling or coping.

Having a pregnancy end even 24 hours after the first positive test can still be a terrible loss.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!