The 9 months of pregnancy 219
Losing a pregnancy (miscarriage)
Women with disabilities are no more likely to have a miscarriage than women who
are not disabled. Losing a pregnancy is hard for anyone who wants to have a baby,
but it can be especially hard for a woman with a disability. Many people may not
think she should get pregnant anyway, and when she does, she will face disapproval
in her community. If she has a miscarriage, people assume it is because of her
disability. She may think that too.
Miscarriages most often happen during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
A miscarriage can happen for many reasons, such as:
• unhealthy eggs or sperm
• a problem with the shape of the womb
• growths (fibroids) in the womb
• infection in the womb or vagina
• an illness, such as malaria
• heavy work or accidents
Losing a pregnancy
is common. If it
happens to you,
it does not mean
you cannot have a
the next time.
• emotional stress or trauma
If you have a miscarriage, take good care of yourself for a few days. This can help
prevent you from getting an infection and will help your body heal faster. Try to:
• Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food (see page 86).
• Rest often.
• Avoid heavy work for 7 days.
• Bathe regularly, but do not wash out your vagina (douche), or sit in a tub of
water until a few days after your bleeding stops.
• Use clean cloths or pads to catch any blood, and change them often.
• Do not put anything inside your vagina, and do not have sexual intercourse, for
at least 2 weeks, and not until a few days after you stop bleeding.
• Wait until you have had your monthly bleeding 3 times before trying to get
pregnant again. If you wait, there is less chance of having another miscarriage.
Having a miscarriage, whether early or later in a pregnancy, can cause enormous
emotional pain and sadness. It can be worse because the people around you may
expect that when the pains in your body have gone, you will be fine again. They
may not realize how sad you may feel.
Give yourself time to feel sad and cry. Spend time with friends who understand
how you feel and don’t force yourself to ‘be happy.’ Some people may suggest you
try to get pregnant again right away. Take time to feel ready for another pregnancy.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007