Pregnancy loss: Will it happen again?

The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is a very difficult experience. Whether you had a miscarriage, stillbirth or your baby died soon after birth, it’s normal to have mixed feelings about a future pregnancy. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

You may want to get pregnant again right away. Or you may want to wait awhile. You may be worried that you may have another loss in your next pregnancy. Share your feelings with your partner and decide together what’s right for your family.

How long to wait before getting pregnant again?

This is a decision for you to make with your partner and your provider. When to try again depends on a few things, like:

  • Giving your body time to recover before your next pregnancy
  • Being emotionally ready to try again
  • Giving yourself time to grieve for your baby

Talk to your provider about how long to wait before you try to get pregnant again. If your baby died during pregnancy and you’re having tests to find out more about what happened, you may need to wait until you’ve had the tests before you start trying to get pregnant again. If you’ve had a miscarriage, it’s usually OK to get pregnant again after you’ve had at least one normal period. Every situation is different, and you can decide the right timing for you and your family.

For most women younger than 35 who haven’t had a miscarriage or stillbirth, it’s best to wait at least 18 months (1½ years) from the end of one pregnancy before getting pregnant again. This gives your body time to recover before your next pregnancy.

Here are few things you can do as you think about getting pregnant again:

  • Share your feelings with your partner about getting pregnant again. Find out how your partner feels, too.
  • Be hopeful. Remind yourself that every pregnancy is different. Just because you’ve had a loss, it doesn’t mean it will happen again.
  • Reduce your stress. Cut back on activities you don’t need to do. Talk with your provider or a counselor about ways you can reduce stress.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs. Talk to your provider if you need help to quit.
  • Eat healthy foods and take a vitamin supplement with 400 mcg of folic acid every day. Do something active every day.
  • Get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy to help make sure you’re healthy when you get pregnant. Talk to your provider about all the medications you take and get caught up with your vaccinations.

For more information

  • From hurt to healing (free booklet from the March of Dimes for grieving parents)
  • Share Your Story (March of Dimes online community for families to share experiences with prematurity, birth defects or loss)
  • Visit our new Wall of Remembrance, a space for parents and loved ones living with loss to pay tribute and share their story.