Hormones and Emotions After Pregnancy Loss

After you lose a pregnancy, your body’s hormones plummet in the same way as if you’d given birth. This biological cascade can trigger an emotional flood that overwhelms the system-sadness, anxiety, anger, and despair. Your tears may seem never-ending, fed by a well that refills instantly and without warning. It can be disconcerting, confusing, and at times frightening. Is this really me? Yet, as hormone levels regulate, moods eventually will, too.

Here’s the catch: emotions that are triggered by hormones can look the same as those triggered by grief. These two sets each have their own paths, and they run on parallel and overlapping tracks inside you after you lose a pregnancy. This means you are traveling both at the same time. Imagine walking with one foot on each as they intersect, widen, and double up. Each set needs its own care and attention, which is difficult on every level!

Or, think of it this way: you’ve got two identical sets of sadness, anxiety, anger, and despair, each of which would be overwhelming enough on its own. One belongs to your hormonal fluctuations; the other belongs to your grief. As hormones stabilize, the emotional ebb and flow from the hormone set begins to neutralize. You may notice this as feeling a bit more centered and connected to your body again.

Except if you’re grieving.

Your grief has its own timetable separate from the timetable on which your hormones regulate. The sadness, anger, anxiety, and despair you feel related to your loss are still there. “Ah-ha,” you say. That feels about right.

Understanding differences between the causes of these identical emotions can help you learn to identify what’s causing your feelings-and trust that you know you better than anyone. It can also help you know if you need help, and the type of help to seek.

When life takes a turn no one expected, human beings crave order and seek measurable results. Hormones can be quantified. You take a blood test and find out if you’ve got the right or “normal” amounts. If they fall “within normal limits,” they can be monitored and tracked to make sure they stay that way. If they’re not, doctors will keep an eye on you. Medicine is good for that.

Grief doesn’t work that way. Grief cannot be measured or quantified, and “normal” varies from person to person. Yours is unique to you.

This post was written by Meredith Resnick, with content excerpted from All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss.

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Originally published at https://alltheloveafterloss.com.

Supporting and empowering people through pregnancy loss. All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss (Turner Publishing, 2021).