Posts filed under: Miscarriage + Loss

Miscarriage + Loss

Miscarriage + Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage, also known as pregnancy loss, is a spontaneous and typically unexpected loss of a pregnancy before the baby can survive outside of the womb.

Our Top Miscarriage Articles

  1. Beth’s ectopic pregnancy story
  2. Our favorite miscarriage gifts
  3. Why you don’t have to attend a baby shower after miscarriage

Medical terms are at odds with the way most (though not all) women experience such loss. Scientifically, the baby is called an embryo or a fetus, and the miscarriage is referred to as an abortion. But, to most pregnant women, this is a personal loss that causes emotional grief, anxiety, depression, guilt, and self-blame. For the record, self-blame is totally unnecessary. 

How many pregnancies end in miscarriage? Estimates suggest that up to 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, though many before a woman knows she’s pregnant. You can join the 1 in 4 community on Instagram.

Signs of Miscarriage

There are a few warning signs that you can look out for. Many pregnant women panic when they notice bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy. 


Call your doctor if you experience red bleeding, but don’t panic. There are many reasons bleeding can occur during pregnancy that don’t result in pregnancy loss.

There are many potential causes of bleeding in early pregnancy, including implantation bleeding, subchorionic hematoma, and more. 

Miscarriage Symptoms

Symptoms can include any or all of the following: 

  • light spotting to heavy bleeding
  • back pain
  • blood clots
  • cramps. 

A potential sign can be loss of regular pregnancy symptoms, but pregnancy symptoms themselves are not directly associated with miscarriage. Pregnancy symptoms may also regulate due to hormonal changes, and some women experience pregnancy with no symptoms at all. 

Miscarriage Causes

There are a few causes that can induce a miscarriage, but Undefining Motherhood wants to be clear on one main point first: the miscarrying mother is not at fault. Exercising, drinking coffee, going to work, or having sex do not induce miscarriages.

Rather, miscarriages are almost always caused by genetic or physiological circumstances.

  • Fetal genetic abnormalities: sometimes, during conception, chromosomes don’t work together to form a baby that can survive outside the womb
  • Physical anomalies within the mother’s body: things like uterine abnormalities, blood clots, pools of blood in the gestational sac, major autoimmune disorders, et cetera
  • Extreme trauma: car accidents and other tragic events that injure the womb

Note that trauma must be extreme. Many women endure experiences like bad car accidents and still carry a successful pregnancy. Research estimates that 50% of miscarriages are caused by genetic fetal abnormalities

The Truth About Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage is a tragic event that affects millions of women and their partners. At Undefining Motherhood, we want you to feel like you can openly talk about your loss and get to know other mothers who share similar experiences.

You are not alone!

Miscarriage Support: 9 Ways to Help

What do you do when you need to provide miscarriage support when a friend had a miscarriage? These 9 tips will help you give support after miscarriage. ... Read More

Parenting After the Loss of a Child: Hannah’s Reflection on Grief, Guilt, and Joy

In 2016, I was 40 weeks pregnant when I was told my baby’s heart had stopped beating. I was 23 years old, and I didn’t know that babies could die,... Read More

Cancer After Miscarriage: How My Baby & an ER Nurse Saved My Life

My miscarriage story is not typical, but it's so special. Thanks to my baby, and a vigilant ER nurse, I found out I had cancer after miscarriage. Read more here.... Read More

How to Create Miscarriage Memorials: Gifts and Insider Tips

Having a way to memorialize miscarriage gives us closure & makes abstract tangible. Here, learn about rituals and miscarriage memorial gifts recommended by moms of loss.... Read More

“There’s No Heartbeat”: Arden’s Terrifying Story about the Miscarriage Pill

Misoprostol is often called the “miscarriage pill,” as it helps women who’ve lost a pregnancy actually expel that pregnancy from their bodies. So yes, it’s as gross and horrifying as... Read More

Miscarriage Tattoos that are Meaningful for Mom

The pain of a miscarriage stays with you. From the moment I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I felt relief in knowing that, for 9 months,... Read More

What You Need to Know About the Emotions of Having a Rainbow Baby

Having a child after pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death can be both exciting and terrifying. A child born after these traumatic events is usually called a rainbow baby. But... Read More

Gifts for Miscarriage that Show You Care

Let’s be real here. Miscarriage gifts don’t take the pain away. But when I was in the depths of recurrent miscarriage, my friend Mary Katherine showed up with a miscarriage... Read More

What Is a Mother? Not What You’ve Been Told

What Is a mother? It's not what you've been told to think. A mother is not someone who gives up her entire life and person to raise children. Because who are... Read More

14 Best Books About Miscarriage, According to Women Who’ve Been There

The days after my first miscarriage were among the loneliest and darkest of my life. I never want other women to feel so isolated in such a common experience, which... Read More