The loss of a pregnancy can be devastating and painful for individuals, their partners and their families. It is a time when you may need comfort and emotional support. You may feel numbness, confusion, shock, sadness, exhaustion, disbelief, anger, fear, guilt, regret and even depression. By taking the time to understand your feelings, may help you through the grieving process.
Surviving the emotional impact is possible and many individuals can go on to have successful pregnancies.
What support is available?
Short-term pregnancy loss counselling is offered through Sexual Health, Options & Reproductive Services (SHORS). The program offers safe, confidential, and supportive services across PEI.
Call 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free) to speak with a staff member or to make an appointment. No referral is needed.
What will I need to bring with me to my appointment?
Identification: All patients and support persons need to provide a photo ID. Patients will also be required to have a valid PEI Health Card.
Information: You may also be asked about your personal health history and the medications you are currently taking. If you are taking medications, bring them with you or bring an up-to-date list of your medications [PDF | 609 KB], including over-the-counter vitamins or supplements.
Support Person: You can bring a support person who may accompany you to your appointment but they may be asked to sit in the waiting area in certain circumstances. Please talk to a staff member to learn about your options.
What causes a miscarriage or a stillbirth?
A pregnancy that ends before 20 weeks is called a miscarriage. Early pregnancy loss can happen because the embryo is not developing as it should.
The miscarriage could be caused by many factors, ranging from genetic defects to immune reactions by the individual's body. Often, the cause of a miscarriage is never pinpointed. In nearly every case, there’s nothing the individual did wrong to cause the miscarriage or could have done differently to prevent it.
A pregnancy that ends after 20 weeks, but before the baby is born is called a stillbirth. It can happen during pregnancy or during labour.
A stillbirth may be caused by a problem with the baby’s health (eg. birth defect, growth, and development, etc.); a problem with the individual's health (eg. diabetes, blood pressure, etc.); a problem with the placenta; an infection in the individual or baby; or a problem with the umbilical cord, such as twisting which can cut off oxygen to the baby.
What other support might be available to me?
- Turn to loved ones and friends for support. Share your feelings and ask for help when you need it.
- Talk to your partner about your loss. Keep in mind that individuals cope with loss in different ways.
- Take care of yourself. Eating healthy foods, keeping active, and getting enough sleep will help restore your energy and well-being.
- Join a support group – it may help you to feel less alone.
- Do something in remembrance of your baby.
- Seek help from a grief counsellor, especially if your grief doesn’t ease with time.
When will I be able to try again?
Give yourself plenty of time to heal emotionally and physically. Each person’s grief experience is different.
Once you and your partner are emotionally ready to try again, confirm with your doctor that you are in good physical health and that your body is ready for a pregnancy.
Following a miscarriage, most healthy individuals do not need to wait before trying to conceive again. You might worry that pregnancy loss could happen again. But take heart in knowing that most individuals who have gone through pregnancy loss go on to have healthy babies.
If you have questions or concerns, speak with a Women’s Wellness Program & Sexual Health Services staff member or your health care provider.
Who can I contact for more information?
Sexual Health, Options & Reproductive Services (SHORS)
Prince County Hospital
65 Roy Boates Avenue
Summerside, PE C1N 2A9
Telephone: 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free)