Is Weight Gain After Miscarriage Common?

Hi there,

First of all, I’m very sorry for your loss.

To answer your concern, yes, it’s common and normal to gain weight after suffering a miscarriage. Weight gain can be due to substantial hormonal changes your body goes through after a miscarriage. Fluctuating hormonal changes can affect your weight and metabolism and can also lead to a condition called Hypothyroidism in some cases.

The second major reason for weight gain after a miscarriage is depression. Women can eat high-calorie food to fill the void or find solace in food, leading to excessive weight gain. Lack of exercise and even extreme stress are common triggers for weight gain. The third reason can be you might be pregnant again.

Miscarriage can be a challenging time for you and your family. It’s not only physically draining but can take a huge toll on your mental and emotional state too, and hey, no one here is judging you if you gained a little bit of weight after a miscarriage.

As I said, it’s normal for women to gain weight, which with the right routine and diet can be lost by you.

Common reasons why women gain weight after a miscarriage

A sad young woman is sitting by herself, reflecting after her recent miscarriage.

Not every woman gains weight after a miscarriage, but there are many women who do gain weight and aren’t able to lose it.

Depression

Every woman’s body is different. Everyone, male, female, or otherwise, deals with loss and grief differently, and losing your unborn baby about whom you might’ve already dreamt about and loved can be very difficult.

Women who suffered through a miscarriage tend to have bouts of mourning and grief, and if not overcome these stressful feelings, it can lead to overeating as a means of filling the void.

Depression is a normal and common response while dealing with a miscarriage, but sometimes depression can manifest differently for you, unlike it does for others.

So, there can be a possibility that even after exercising regularly, you’re still not able to lose weight, and that can be because you tend to turn towards your comfort food more often than not and ‘eat their feelings when you’re sad about something.

My mother went through the same thing when she miscarried her first baby. At the time when she told me, I asked her whether it was painful for her, but I was only 13 years old and very far from understanding what it’s like to be pregnant or to be a parent, I was just curious to know her feelings.

She later told me that she was coping up with the loss by turning to food. People around her wanted her to eat a more high-calorie diet because they thought it’d help heal her body soon, and my mother started resorting to eating more as a way of finding solace in it.

So, mama, if you’re reading this and you’ve suffered a miscarriage recently, I just want to send you lots of love and virtual hugs and tell you that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling and that this shall too pass.

Hypothyroidism

Another reason why you can’t lose weight after a miscarriage is hypothyroidism. With the drastic and fluctuating changes in your hormones, many women develop a condition called hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone, responsible for making hormones in your body. These hormones control the rate of many activities in your body, like how fast your body can burn calories or the rate of your heartbeats.

Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland isn’t able to make enough thyroid hormones. To diagnose this condition, doctors mostly come up with solutions after considering your medical history, physical exam, and thyroid tests which include some blood work.

Diet

Even after a miscarriage, the body takes time to realize that you’re no longer pregnant and doesn’t need a high-calorie diet to keep your unborn baby healthy. This realization takes around 10 days for your body to understand that it doesn’t need so many calories and can go back to the pre-pregnancy diet.

The pregnancy hormone, hCG, seen in your blood test, which denotes whether you’re pregnant or not, also takes time to leave your body. So you can still experience pregnancy symptoms like bloating and tender breasts, which shows the weight scale on the higher side as a result.

What you can do is go back to your pre-pregnancy diet as soon as you can. Exercise regularly, and drink enough water.

You can also measure your hips, stomach, and chest to check whether you’re losing weight. But I’d also like to remind you that losing weight isn’t supposed to happen overnight or in a few days.

It’s a gradual process and takes time to adjust to the new routine. Keep in mind to not put extra pressure on yourself in trying to lose the extra weight. You’ll eventually reach there, and meanwhile, take your time and relax.

Pregnancy

There are chances that you’re pregnant again and therefore not able to lose weight.

You might think that you need your next period to arrive after you start trying for another pregnancy, but you can start ovulating as soon as two weeks after your miscarriage. So, there’s a chance that you might not know but are pregnant again.

Also, don’t rely on a home pregnancy test because those check the presence of hCG in your urine, and the chances are that it detects the hCG you had from your previous pregnancy which hasn’t left your body yet. So, consult your doctor for another blood test to determine whether you’re pregnant or not.

Tips to cope with a miscarriage

A young woman is trying to cope with her miscarriage. She has a red flower and is sitting by the tombstone dedicated to her unborn baby.
  • Take this time to go on a vacation with your partner or family. This can take your mind off things while you feel peace and serenity in a place you always wanted to go.
  • Go back to your old routine as soon as you can.
  • Try not to emotional binge eat food. Keep track of what you eat so that you don’t tend to exceed the calorie intake limit.
  • Surround yourself with the people you love and cherish, so that they can help you emotionally to gain back your mental strength
  • Hydrate yourself and spend at least 30 minutes every day for exercise.
  • This is a difficult time for and your partner. So, spend more happy moments with your partner.
  • There’s no shame in asking for professional help if you’re not able to handle the miscarriage. Seek help as it can be quite good for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prevent weight gain after a miscarriage?

Yes, if there are no underlying issues after your miscarriage, then you can definitely prevent weight gain by going back to your pre-pregnancy diet, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Also, exercise 5 days a week for at least 3o minutes and drink plenty of water.

Do you still look pregnant after a miscarriage?

Yes. Your body doesn’t change suddenly right after a miscarriage. It can take days for your body to go back to the pre-pregnancy levels and you might still feel and look pregnant even if you had recently had a miscarriage.

How long should I rest after a miscarriage?

Each body is different and yours can even take a couple of weeks to a month to recover from a miscarriage. Also, depending on far along you were on your pregnancy, the pregnancy hormones can remain in your blood for 1 to 2 months after you miscarry.

How do I know that my miscarriage is over?

If the bleeding and pain have decreased or stopped completely, then this is usually the indication that the miscarriage has finished.

Can I become pregnant soon after my miscarriage and before having a period?

Yes, it’s possible that you’re pregnant after you have miscarried and before getting your period. For some women, there is no delay in their menstrual cycles which means they can get their ovulation as early as two weeks after their miscarriage.

Conclusion

Dear mama, this isn’t the end of the road, rather the end of the tunnel and light will soon shine upon you. Rather than dwelling on the past, look forward to the future with your partner and your family.

I know it can be quite painful but don’t stress about things that can’t be changed. So, relax and try meditating every day. Do what makes you happy; keep yourself busy and distracted, and I’m sure you’ll overcome this phase too.

Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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