Preparing for a Natural Miscarriage: Supplies
A few years ago, we discovered that I was pregnant with our third baby. This baby would have been due on my 40th birthday---the best birthday present I could have imagined! On the 11th week we went for our first ultrasound, only to see an empty, deteriorating sac the size of a 9 week pregnancy. Along with the emotional devastation, we had three options: Wait it out naturally, have a D&C (surgery), or insert Misoprostol tablets to induce the miscarriage. I had experienced two natural births, including a home birth with my second child. We opted to have a natural miscarriage, since there were no other complications. It wasn't until week 13 that the spotting began. I did not realize a miscarriage would be such a physical ordeal. The doctor's office told me it would be like a heavy period and to expect to see some clots. It was much more than that. I would consider it more like a 'mini-labor', complete with contractions.
Recently my husband and I found ourselves facing another miscarriage. At week 8 I went in for our first ultrasound, only to see a 5 week empty sac. The doctor told me it was possible my dates were off, but after a nine-day agonizing wait, the sac was still small and empty. The doctor gave me no hope and told me I had a blighted ovum. My body continued to grow the placenta and prepare for pregnancy for several weeks, until finally miscarrying one month later. It was miserable waiting for the miscarriage to start. However, that waiting time allowed me to make preparations.
Miscarriage is a difficult experience, physically and emotionally. I am sharing my story with to help others who might be preparing for a natural miscarriage at home. These are things I wish someone might have shared with me.
Helpful Supplies for a Natural Miscarriage
Preparing for a natural miscarriage can be similar to preparing for a natural childbirth. It can be messy, but so much more comfortable to manage things in your home where you have privacy. These are some helpful supplies to have available in your bedroom and/or master bath.
- Bedding Protectors If available, use a waterproof mattress pad. However, you can also purchase disposable under pads. I found them at a mass merchandiser reasonably priced. They were located with the incontinence products in the pharmacy area. It is worth it to get the larger size. They might also be used on the bathroom floor to protect any rugs and/or carpet near the toilet.
- Two packs of overnight super heavy sanitary pads Purchase your favorite brand. Also a pack of regular pads for when the bleeding is lighter, before or after the miscarriage.
- Pain relievers Check with your doctor, but taking extra Ibuprofen can be very helpful for the short term when the miscarriage cramping is most intense. If you have prescription pain relief, make sure that you have the prescription filled and ready.
- Disposable Disinfecting Wipes Keep these within arms reach in your bathroom to help quickly clean up any messes.
- Extra disposal/garbage bags Keep these handy in the bathroom to throw away underpads and sanitary pads
- Heating pad or microwavable pad. Many women going through miscarriage have lower back pain. I found my rice pad to be so comforting and great for pain relief.
- Flushable Wipes Also very handy to clean up yourself or the toilet seat quickly during bathroom trips.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Helpful for cleaning blood stains on sheets, towels or other laundry.
- A small container This is difficult to share, but I still believe it's practical in some cases. For me, it was important to keep the sac (or if there was a small baby seen) and to bury the remains later on. This was a way that I wanted to remember my baby and acknowledge the precious life that existed. At times this is not possible. The remains may be in a large clot and you might not see them. But it helps to be prepared and have a container or a small closeable bag handy if you aren't comfortable flushing the toilet in this situation. I chose to place the remains in a container in a bag and placed them discreetly in my freezer discreetly until burial. You may also want to consider having disposable gloves for handling purposes.
How about you? Have you experienced a natural miscarriage at home? What supplied have you found helpful?
For more help on preparing for miscarriage, see my hub on comfort and strategies.
- Preparing for a Natural Miscarriage: Comfort and Strategies for Management
Practical ways to manage a natural miscarriage in the comfort of your own home. Ways to prepare yourself and your household in the event of an early miscarriage.
© 2014 Karen Fritzemeier