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The 6 Steps of Healing Approach to Miscarriage

Posted by Sarah Stogryn on

This story unfolds differently for each person, but all people who have experienced miscarriage have this in common:  First you were pregnant.  And then you were not. Your womb is empty and so are your arms. 

Some find relief in the loss while others are devastated. Some face it stoically, while others crumble under the weight of their grief.  There is no 'right way' to walk this journey.  But there are guideposts along the way to help you as your journey unfolds.  This post is written for those first days when a miscarriage is imminent or beginning, but is not yet complete. It uses Susun Weed's 6 Steps of Healing model to help you explore your options to bring the miscarriage to completion. It can be difficult to think clearly in the midst of loss - I hope that this tool will be useful to you in a difficult time.  <3  

As always, remember that I am not a medical practitioner, and the information I provide here is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as medical advice, a  treatment protocol, a prescription, or a recommendation. Any and all information here is to be used at your own discretion, at your own risk, and in consultation with trusted caregivers whenever you deem necessary. 

Step 0 – Do Nothing.  
Simply be still.  Be open to all that is possible. Meditate. Pray. Be mindful.  Be present. Observe whether anything even needs to be done.  Just be, with what is, without judgments, labels, or opinions. 
If you are having difficulty, yoga nidra meditation is the perfect tool for this stage and many mediations can be found for free or a low cost online.

Step 1 – Collect Information. 
Collect all sorts and styles of information. Facts, figures, and statistics are easy enough to gather in today’s information age, but they aren’t the only way of knowing.  Listen to your dreams and your intuition. Listen to stories, consult spiritual mentors.  Make a list of people you trust whom you can turn to at any time, and turn to them when you need to.

Step 2 - Engage the Energy
Sometimes a subtle shift in energy is all it takes to turn the tide in your overall healing journey.  A hug, a smile, an open window, a long walk, prayer, meditation, visualization, homeopathic or flower remedies...  
In the case of a confirmed or inevitable miscarriage, I think part of engaging the energy involves telling your baby that it’s okay for them to let go.  
If you’d like to try homeopathics, Sepia, Caullophyllum, Cimicifuga, and Sabina are the most frequently recommended options.  Caullophyllum and Cimicifuga are the homeopathic versions of blue cohosh and black cohosh, which are herbs traditionally used to bring on effective labour. Sepia is useful throughout pregnancy but in this instance, helps expel tissue, and ‘expel’ grief.  Sabina can be used if the bleeding is too heavy with bright red blood and clots. Phosphorous can also be used for profuse bleeding. Caullophyllum & Cimicifuga should not be used unless the miscarriage has been confirmed.  Follow the dosage guidelines which come with the remedies you choose.

If you are having a difficult time emotionally, Bach Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic flower essence which may bring you a sense of calmness.  Other flower remedies which may be beneficial are Star of Bethlehem for shock,  Cherry Plum for racing thoughts, Sweet Chestnut for deep heartache and depression, Pine for feelings of guilt, Clematis for feeling like the miscarriage is a bad dream, Honeysuckle for when you are stuck wondering what might have been, Willow for resentment towards others, Holly for anger towards others.

Reflexology, yoga nidra meditation, reiki, and therapeutic touch would also be options to consider in Engaging the Energy. Be sure to work with a practitioner who is knowledgeable about pregnancy/reproductive health and is sensitive to pregnancy loss.

Step 3 - Nourish and Tonify
Nourish yourself in body mind and spirit.  LOVE yourself – especially the parts you despise or are ashamed of.  Demonstrate that love to yourself through gentle lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications that make you feel good (including the use of herbal teas) and moving your body in ways that feel good to you, if needed.  Doing these positive nourishing things over time is tonifying – they increase the energy available within you. 
In the short-term, try a hot bath or shower, a massage, or any form of self-care that makes you feel special. Be sure to stay well-hydrated with clear healthy fluids as your body will be losing blood, and to eat foods which are rich in iron. An herbal infusion of alfalfa and/or nettles and/or red raspberry leaf would be an excellent choice.  Letting Go Blend contains 100% organic/wildcrafted alfalfa, lavender buds, red raspberry leaf, rose petals, skullcap, and st.john's wort to help with pain and anxiety during this time of loss and transition. Letting Go Blend does not cause miscarriage and is pregnancy-safe.


Step 4 - Stimulate & Sedate
Here is where you explore the use of therapies known to stimulate or sedate the body.                       
Large doses of vitamin C (500mg/hr every hour for 12hours, up to 6 days as per Susun Weed); parsley, or true sweet cinnamon may stimulate your body to release the pregnancy if it is still early.

If you decide to use herbs to help complete a miscarriage, Susun Weed of The Wise Woman Herbal for The Childbearing Year recommends 20 drops each of blue cohosh and black cohosh tincture, once an hour, for up to 5 hours, and also to keep Shepherd's Purse tincture or Witch Hazel tincture on hand in case bleeding becomes too heavy (dosage of 20-40 drops).  Dong quai/angelica and pennyroyal are other herbs which are sometimes recommended to help complete a miscarriage.  Pennyroyal is available as both an herb and an essential oil - - it should NEVER be used internally in essential oil form as it is a HIGHLY toxic poison, and even applied topically it can cause serious skin irritation. Each of these four herbs can lead to excess bleeding or cause damage if used incorrectly, so be sure to have a trustworthy adult with you when you use them, a plan for if bleeding becomes too heavy, and above all listen to your body. If you have pre-existing medical conditions it is wise to do further research before using herbs, and/or to consult with an herbalist experienced in the use of these herbs for the purposes of completing a miscarriage.  When used appropriately these herbs can be safe and low-risk.  Used incorrectly they can lead to nausea, vomitting, excess blood loss, or even more serious side effects.
Acupuncture and cupping from an experienced practitioner are two other therapies which could be considered at this stage.

Step 5 - Use Supplements/Drugs
Supplements are foods taken out of context. Herbs which contain standardized extracts also fall into this category. Drugs are the category where the medical profession steps in with standardized synthetic medications designed to provoke a specific response within the body. 
Some feel that high dilution homeopathics fall into this category as they are only available from a Homeopathic Doctor and may have a more pronounced action in the body than lower dose homeopathics available over the counter. 

Methergine, mifepristone and misoprostol are drugs which your medical doctor may prescribe to you in order to help your body complete a miscarriage, depending on where you live (USA vs Canada for example).

Step 6 - Break & Enter
This step includes surgery, invasive diagnostic procedures, psychoactive drugs, and invasive or harsh alternative therapies.  Step 6 approaches ALWAYS have side effects and cause harm even as they strive to bring healing. That being said, you have to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks for you.  While step 6 interventions are rarely my first choice, there is a time and a place for them and they may be exactly what you need.

At this point you would be considering a dilation & curettage procedure, known more commonly as a D&C.  While a D&C is relatively quick and thorough, it brings with it the risk of infection, perforation of the uterus, and scarring on the cervix – each of which could impact future pregnancies. In some cases however these risks are outweighed by the benefits, making a D&C the right choice for you. 

If you are Rh negative, or if you do not know your blood type, it is important that you discuss this with your medical caregiver no matter which approach you take to completing the miscarriage, as it can impact future pregnancies and you will want to consider receiving an injection of Rhogam.

....May you find peace and healing on your journey.  <3

Resources, References, & Recommended Further Reading
How To Have A Natural Miscarriage
Birthing/Midwife Homeopathic Remedies 
Pregnancy & Childbirth Homeopathic Kit
Helping Yourself To Heal From Miscarriage
Pennyroyal & Miscarriage
HealthLinkBC - Miscarriage Overview
A Miscarriage Story - Indie Birth
Susun Weed – Wise Woman Herbal For The Childbearing Year
Gentle Birth Archives - Miscarriage
Healing After Miscarriage
Dr.Christopher's Herbal Legacy - preventing miscarriage with herbs


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