Miscarriage & Infant Loss

Miscarriage & Infant Loss

More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage - around 14,000 women in Ireland each year have a miscarriage. The fact that a miscarriage occurs does not necessarily mean that there is anything medically wrong with you or your partner and does not automatically mean you cannot have children in the future. 

Each individual reacts differently to pregnancy loss and copes differently with grief. We cope with it the best we can, in our own way, at our own pace. Most women and their partners find the experience deeply distressing but women and men can sometimes have differing reactions. Sometimes a woman might feel that her partner doesn't feel the same way or doesn't appear to be as upset as she is. This is most likely not the case and it’s just different personalities and reactions trying to cope in a distressing situation.

The emotional aspect of the miscarriage is probably the most difficult and you need to allow yourself all the time that is right for you. There is no time-limit to grieving and none of us can say 'by x date I will feel better and be back to normal'. Many of us find we go through a whole series of emotions. Some people, who have no experience of miscarriage or loss, think that you can only grieve for a baby who has been born alive and one that you have got to know, if only for a short while. But parents begin their relationship with their baby long before the birth and therefore it is quite natural for them to experience grief for babies who die before they are born.

Men & Miscarriage

When you lose your baby both the mother and the father grieve for their loss. However in many cases the man in a relationship can be forgotten and the effect of the loss on him is often underestimated. A lot of focus is put on the mother, how she is feeling physically, how she is coping emotionally etc. The father has lost his baby too and his hopes and dreams for the future may be just as shattered as that of the mother.


In many cases partners in a relationship grieve differently. You may feel differently from day to day and so will your partner. Some days will seem better and the next might seem worse. Don't feel guilty if you are having a 'good day' or equally if it's bad. Try to take it as it comes. This is normal.  After months of getting on okay you might suddenly feel very sad again or something might trigger a memory or an occasion or milestone may come around. Sometimes there is no obvious reason.

Work - Vs - Time Off

In a lot of cases the men will continue to go to work. Unfortunately there is no rule-book or set of protocols for what you should do, what you are expected to do or what is 'the norm'. Many people through experience realise it's best to take even a little time off. If your thoughts are racing and your head is full of all that has happened it may be very difficult to concentrate on your job.  You will have options for leave so talk to your colleagues and your HRPD contacts to give yourself some breathing space.

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