It’s estimated that about 26% of all pregnancies result in miscarriage. This number may be even higher because they often happen before someone even realizes that they’re pregnant.
No matter when a miscarriage occurs, it can bring heartbreak, grief, anxiety, and more. Coping with a miscarriage involves taking steps to heal your body, heart, and mind.
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There are so many ways to care for yourself after a miscarriage like getting bodywork, going into nature, spending time with loved ones, and going to therapy.
One tool that is affordable and accessible to almost anyone is starting a miscarriage journal.
Read on for ideas on how to start one, and some prompt ideas to get you going.
Steps for Starting and Keeping a Miscarriage Grief Journal
Starting a grief journal allows people a place to touch in and reflect on where they’re at in their healing journey.
This journal can be put in a collection of miscarriage keepsakes as a way of commemorating your experience, and honoring the life that was cut short.
Miscarriages don’t just affect the parents, they can also affect other close family members, including other children. If you’re wondering how to talk to kids about death.
Here’s how to get started
Assess your needs
Before you start your miscarriage journal, it’s important to check in with yourself to see where you’re at in the healing process.
While this is an incredible tool, it can not replace the work of a therapist or other sort of healer.
Are you feeling relatively grounded but looking for a way to process the feelings and emotions that come with having a miscarriage? If yes, then a miscarriage journal is a great place to start from.
If you’re dealing with mental health issues or are deep in the grieving process, it may be helpful to seek out professional help in addition to your journal practice.
Oftentimes, our tools are most powerful when they’re able to work together to support our healing.
Start a routine
If you’re ready to get started journaling, first off—you’ll need a journal.
Try to set aside one that is specifically for your miscarriage or fertility journey. It’s helpful to get a journal that inspires you or brings you a little joy when you look at it, like one with a beautiful cover.
Now that you have your journal, you’ll want to start a routine that works for you.
Can you commit to journaling once a day? Twice a day? Will it help for you to set an alarm for when it’s time to journal? You can try to set a timer where you answer the prompt by free writing for anywhere from three to ten minutes.
If writing isn’t for you, you can also try answering these prompts using the voice memo tool on your phone.
Remember, this practice is supposed to support you, so you make it work for your individual needs.
Miscarriage Journal Prompt Ideas
Even if you know that you might benefit from a miscarriage journal, you still may be at a loss as to what to write about.
That’s where these prompts come in.
You can answer them directly, use them as inspiration to create a poem or artwork from, or even as starting points to make your own prompts with.
Prompt ideas for a first miscarriage
1. How am I feeling right now?
This may seem simple, but that’s what makes it so powerful.
We don’t always stop to think about how we’re feeling at any given moment, especially when we’re experiencing grief.
Well here’s your opportunity. How are you feeling right now?
These are some questions to check in with:
- Am I feeling pain or tension anywhere in my body?
- How does my heart feel?
- What thoughts keep going through my head?
- What do I need at this moment?
This sort of check-in gives you the opportunity to be present with yourself and how you’re feeling at any given moment.
Grief can feel like a time warp, and it’s easy to not feel centered or grounded. Use this prompt to help you come back to right now.
2. What brought me joy today?
Moments of joy are healing, even amid grief. Reflecting on what brought you joy throughout your day helps to warm the heart, and help get you in a positive mind frame.
You may have found joy in the smallest things like cuddling with your dog, feeling sunshine on your face, looking at a funny meme, or taking a bite of something delicious. Whatever it is, write it down!
You can take this one step further and make a gratitude practice out of it.
3. What was I grateful for today or right now?
The things that brought you joy can be the things that you’re grateful for. Or you may be grateful for something else like the comfort of your home or the rain that watered your garden so that you didn’t have to!
Just like joy, gratitude helps to lift the heart and remind us of the sweetness of life.
Remember that grief, joy, and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. They can all exist at the same time and often do.
4. What and where are my support systems?
Healing takes support. Having a miscarriage, or experiencing any kind of grief can make people feel isolated and alone.
Sometimes when we need the most support we forget where to look for it – and how to ask for it.
This prompt gives you space to think about who, what, and where you find the most support. Whether it be friends, your partner, family, a counselor or therapist, or even an online forum or support group.
Remember that you are not alone.
Prompt ideas for repeated miscarriages
5. How am I going to move forward?
Repeat miscarriages can be especially difficult to navigate. You might be feeling intensified heartbreak, or having difficulty figuring out how to keep moving forward.
Here is your chance to reflect on that.
It could just be baby steps like showering every day, getting lunch with friends, or getting back into your favorite hobby.
Moving forward means whatever allows you to feel like you’ve got something to look forward to, or feel little bits of joy. These steps can be as small or large as you need.
6. How can I let go?
Letting go doesn't mean forgetting. Letting go is a step in the grief journey that allows you to release the parts of grief that are keeping you from moving forward with your life.
Letting go can look like epiphanies, messages, and stopping repetitive thoughts. Letting go can feel like a deep breath, a release of tension, and more spaciousness in your heart and body.
This process can take time. You may “let go” bit by bit, little by little. Each step counts.
Other prompt ideas
7. How am I filling up my cup?
Grief is draining. It can feel exhausting and can make daily activities feel nearly impossible. That’s why it’s so important to fill up your cup while you’re healing from a miscarriage.
It’s easy to forget what your tools are when you’re in the midst of an intense moment. Writing them out in your journal allows you to check back and remember what works for you when you’re in an especially tense or painful space.
Here are some ways you may fill up your cup:
- Reading a book
- Taking a bath
- Going for a walk
- Eating a healthy and comforting meal
- Calling a friend
- Watching a favorite movie
Filling up your cup doesn’t have to be complicated. The most simple tools can be enough to pull you out of a difficult headspace and help nourish your soul.
8. A Letter to My Baby
This one may not be for everyone, but some people will find comfort in writing a letter to their baby that didn’t make it.
What do you want your baby to know? What sort of impact did they have on your life? On the people around you?
This is an open space for you to tell your baby anything you would want them to hear.
Make The Practice Work For You
You may not get to your journal every day, and that’s OK. Committing to a regular practice helps you to see the benefits faster, but this is meant to support your healing, not stress you out.
Be easy on yourself, and get to it when you can. The cool thing about a journal is that it will always be there for you when you need it.
Although it may seem redundant, it can be really helpful to revisit the same prompts over and over again to see how you’ve changed from day to day. Having something familiar to touch in with helps us see how far we’ve come in our healing.
So grab a nourishing cup of tea, your pen, get cozy, and start writing!
- Dugas, Carla, and Valori H Slane. “Miscarriage.” Stat Pearls Publishing, 29 January 2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.