Natalist Medical Advisor Dr. Kenosha Gleaton On Taking Care Of Your Body And Mind After Miscarriage - Exclusive

Every year, millions of people experience a spontaneous pregnancy loss, commonly called a miscarriage, during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 26% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, so it's safe to refer to it as a common phenomenon.

However, many people who experience miscarriage feel incredibly isolated in their post-loss grief. People who experience miscarriages often don't talk about their losses because miscarriage has historically been a taboo topic. Many end up internalizing their pain, which can lead to serious mental health problems.

Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, an OBGYN and Medical Advisor for Natalist, wants people who have miscarriages to know that they're not alone and that they can talk about their experiences. She knows because she's been there herself. Dr. Gleaton experienced unexplained infertility, had multiple miscarriages, and underwent intrauterine insemination before she had her two sons. 

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Dr. Gleaton shared some of her story and her expertise about miscarriages so everyone can understand pregnancy loss a little better.

Miscarriages usually can't be prevented

Dr. Gleaton said that many people who have miscarriages feel like they did something wrong and caused their miscarriage. She stressed that this is almost never the case.

"Most miscarriages are genetic in nature, up to 85%," Dr. Gleaton explained. "When that happens, genetically, when the egg and sperm come together, those chromosomal divisions don't happen properly. Either too much chromosomal material or too little is placed in those cells ... There's not a ton that you can do."

Things that put people at risk for miscarriages include age, fibroids, autoimmune conditions, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, and endocrine disorders, but even people with these conditions can't do much to prevent pregnancy loss, according to Dr. Gleaton. The only thing they can do is make sure that their chronic conditions are well managed before they get pregnant.

Dr. Gleaton emphasized that miscarriages happen in a certain percentage of pregnancy, and there's no blame involved.

Taking care of yourself after a miscarriage

The aftermath of a miscarriage is really difficult, and focusing on both physical and mental health is crucial, Dr. Gleaton said. She encouraged everyone who's dealing with pregnancy loss to seek professional support.

"I'm a huge proponent of counseling, therapy, sessions with your pastor — basically, addressing some of the unspoken hurt and grief that's associated with a miscarriage," she said. "Although most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks, and it's super early in the game, most women — or most people in general — when they see that positive pregnancy test, they see a baby ... You have to address the grief of losing someone you never met."

Dr. Gleaton also recommended attending support groups or connecting with people you know who've experienced pregnancy loss. 

Taking care of your body is also really important after a miscarriage, especially if you're planning to try for a baby again soon, Dr. Gleaton explained. She suggested focusing on maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, continuing prenatal and fertility supplements, and minimizing stress for the months after a miscarriage. Luckily, most people can start trying to conceive again just one cycle after a miscarriage, but it's important that their bodies be as healthy as possible before they try again.

Visit the Natalist website for more information on how you can receive support at every stage of your reproductive journey. Plus, you can explore their wide variety of products ranging from at-home ovulation and pregnancy tests to evidence-backed supplements and books.