A miscarriage is a traumatic event that occurs at an enormous physical and emotional cost. Women who have had suffered from one suddenly become vulnerable to infections, decreased immunity, depression and sleeping disorders.
To help a friend through miscarriage can be a daunting task. There are several things you will have to take into account since the patient may be too disoriented to care for herself.
If the gynaecologist has recommended a D&C procedure, the patient is normally discharged after a few hours. It is still a crucial moment as complications cannot be ruled out. It would help if you stay with her for twenty four hours and make sure to call the doctor in case the cramps continue.
If the miscarriage has been natural, the blood flow should stop after a week. If it continues and other discharge is particularly foul smelling, an infection may be suspected. Take the patient to a doctor immediately.
Fever is the first alarming sign of an infection. The patient should be checked regularly for a rise in temperature. If left unchecked, fever can lead to infertility.
You should consult a doctor to inquire about the kind of diet that the patient must take to heal. If the latter has lost appetite, it is imperative to keep up a regular supply. The idea is not to force feed her but to make sure she eats enough to regain health.
You should read about grief symptoms the patient is bound to show and consult a counsellor on how to deal with those. She may have nightmares, confusions, unexplained tears and other unpleasant sensations. Do not let yourself be swept away with such emotional intensity. Be the steady rock your friend can lean on. A strong shoulder to cry on does wonders to one who is suffering from post-traumatic stress and is worth more than any psychotherapy.
As a friend your most important job is to boost her morale. The patient will need all the love and care possible. At the same time, you should watch out for signs of over dependence. Ultimately, she will have to make her peace with the situation by herself alone.
A wise friend knows where to draw boundaries. It is not up to you to decide when the patient can resume sexual intercourse and plan the next pregnancy. At best you can point her in the direction of the gynaecologist. The biological is intrinsically linked with the emotional so you should avoid making her decisions that concern her own body and mind.
A good friend will always work in tandem with those closest to the patient, especially the spouse or partner. If other family members are involved, it helps to be cooperative and let you know when your efforts are not enough.
Being the helpful friend that you should be, can help the patient recover more easily and faster.
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