How long do you have to rest after a miscarriage?

Experiencing a miscarriage can be extremely difficult both physically and emotionally. Many women wonder how long they should wait after a miscarriage before resuming normal activities. Here are some guidelines for resting and recovering after a miscarriage.

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. Miscarriages are very common, occurring in about 10-20% of known pregnancies. Most miscarriages happen very early, before 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some causes of miscarriages include chromosomal abnormalities, issues with the uterus or cervix, chronic diseases in the mother, infections, and hormonal problems. However, in many cases the cause cannot be identified.

How long should you rest after a miscarriage?

There is no set timeline for how long to rest after a miscarriage – each woman’s body and recovery process is different. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Take it easy for a few days after miscarriage bleeding stops. This allows your body to recover from the process.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, and exercise for 1-2 weeks after the miscarriage.
  • You may need to take 2-3 weeks off work or adjust your schedule depending on your recovery.
  • Resume exercise gradually, starting with light walking and slowly building back up over 2-4 weeks.
  • Listen to your body and rest as needed – you may feel fatigued on and off during the recovery process.
  • Delay sexual activity for 2-3 weeks until bleeding has stopped and the cervix has closed.
  • Hold off on getting pregnant again for at least 1 normal menstrual cycle to allow the uterus to heal.

Your doctor can provide specific guidance on when to resume activities based on details of your individual situation.

What to expect physically after a miscarriage

Your body will go through some changes as it recovers after a miscarriage. Here is what to expect:

  • Bleeding: You can expect bleeding after a miscarriage that is heavier than a regular period, often with clots. This bleeding gradually decreases over days to weeks.
  • Cramps: Mild to moderate cramping is common as the uterus contracts to expel pregnancy tissue. Cramping decreases over the first week.
  • Hormone changes: Hormone levels, especially hCG and progesterone, drop after pregnancy loss, which can cause symptoms like mood swings and hot flashes.
  • Breast changes: Breasts may leak milk and become swollen, tender, or tingly as hormones fluctuate.
  • Ovulation: You should ovulate again 2-4 weeks after the miscarriage once hCG levels normalize.
  • First period: Your first real period usually comes 4-6 weeks after the miscarriage bleeding stops.

Contact your doctor if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, fever, or vaginal discharge after a miscarriage.

How long does it take to recover emotionally?

Recovering emotionally from a miscarriage can take much longer than healing physically. Everyone grieves differently – be patient with yourself and allow adequate time to process the loss. Some tips:

  • Expect your emotions to fluctuate – from sadness and grief to anger and guilt.
  • Seek support from your partner, family, friends, counseling, or support groups.
  • Honor your feelings – crying, journaling, creating art, or commemorating the loss can help.
  • Consider taking time off work if you need space to grieve.
  • Reflect on your experience but avoid blaming yourself – miscarriages are often out of your control.
  • Focus on self-care – eat well, get light exercise, and do relaxing activities.

For many women, the grief of a miscarriage never fully goes away. However, the intensity usually lessens over weeks to months. Seek help if grief lasts longer or interferes with daily life.

Tips for resting after miscarriage

Here are some tips to help you get the rest you need during the recovery process:

  • Take naps or sleep longer as desired – your body needs extra rest.
  • Ask for help around the house with cooking, cleaning, childcare, etc.
  • Limit visitors – only see people who can provide support.
  • Make easy freezer meals ahead of time so you don’t have to cook.
  • Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to replenish nutrients.
  • Reduce stressors and say no to obligations that aren’t essential.
  • Ask your employer about taking sick leave or doing modified duties for a while.
  • Spend time doing a relaxing hobby like reading, gentle yoga, or listening to music.
  • If you have other children, recruit help caring for them or consider part-time childcare.

Don’t feel guilty about taking it easy – your body and mind need time to heal. The extra rest and care now will help you feel stronger sooner.

When to see a doctor

It’s a good idea to follow up with your healthcare provider after a miscarriage. They can:

  • Confirm the miscarriage is complete.
  • Address any concerns about your recovery.
  • Discuss options for testing to identify potential causes.
  • Review your overall health and readiness to get pregnant again.
  • Provide emotional support and resources for coping.

See your doctor right away if you have:

  • Severe pain or bleeding.
  • Fever, chills, or foul-smelling discharge (signs of infection).
  • Weakness, dizziness, or low blood pressure.
  • Difficulty coping or suicidal thoughts.

Getting clearance to resume activities

Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to resume more strenuous activities after your follow-up visit. They will likely recommend:

  • Light exercise like walking can usually start within a few days.
  • Moderate exercise can resume within 2-3 weeks if healing is on track.
  • Vigorous exercise should wait at least 4 weeks and when bleeding and cramping has resolved.
  • Pelvic rest (no intercourse, tampons, douching) for 2-3 weeks.
  • Returning to work can depend on your recovery – discuss a timeline with your employer.

Be sure to have open conversations with your doctor to help guide decisions about when to increase activity levels again. Don’t rush back into things before you are ready.

When is it safe to try conceiving again?

Most experts recommend waiting at least one normal menstrual cycle after a miscarriage to start trying to conceive again. This allows time for:

  • The uterus to heal from pregnancy tissue being dispelled.
  • Hormone levels to normalize.
  • The menstrual cycle to reset.
  • Emotional recovery from the loss.

It is possible to get pregnant again right after a miscarriage as ovulation returns within 2-4 weeks. But waiting longer optimizes chances for a healthy pregnancy. Discuss your timeline for conceiving again with your healthcare provider.

Some reasons you may need to wait longer include:

  • Miscarriage complications like infection or heavy bleeding.
  • Ongoing testing to evaluate the cause.
  • Medical conditions that require treatment or stabilization.
  • Need for emotional coping and grief processing.

Trust your instincts – only try conceiving again when the time feels physically and emotionally right for you.

Coping with miscarriage

Miscarriage grief can manifest in many ways. Be gentle with yourself and use healthy coping strategies:

  • Let yourself cry and express emotions – don’t “get over it” too quickly.
  • Seek support – share your experience with loved ones who can listen without judgment.
  • Consider counseling or support groups – healing often requires external help.
  • Practice self-care – make time for relaxing activities, physical outlets, and things you enjoy.
  • Take time off work if needed – don’t rush back if you don’t feel ready.
  • Write in a journal to process your thoughts.
  • Create art, music, poetry – creative outlets can provide release.
  • Plant flowers, trees or gardens in remembrance.
  • Talk to your baby – through meditation, prayer, writing letters, etc.

Your grief is unique to your experience – there is no “right” way to handle your emotions. Surround yourself with compassion and take all the time you need.

Watch for signs of depression

Intense or persistent grief after miscarriage can sometimes develop into depression. See your doctor if you have symptoms like:

  • Depressed or numb mood lasting over 2 weeks
  • No interest in usual activities
  • Change in appetite and sleep habits
  • Fatigue, lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression often requires counseling and possibly medication to overcome. There is no shame in needing extra help – prioritize your mental health.

Supporting your partner

When one partner has a miscarriage, both parents grieve the loss. Support your partner by:

  • Letting them express their emotions without judgment.
  • Sharing your own feelings honestly.
  • Asking what would be most helpful during the recovery period.
  • Being patient with mood swings.
  • Checking in regularly on their mental health.
  • Understanding libido changes.
  • Doing your share of household tasks without being asked.
  • Grieving together – light candles, look at ultrasounds, plant a memorial garden.
  • Going to counseling or support groups if needed.

Losing a baby puts strain on relationships. Maintain open communication and be each other’s support system during the healing process.


There is no defined “normal” for recovering after a miscarriage – go at your own pace. Allow plenty of time for physical rest, emotional grieving, and re-establishing regular routines. Prioritize self-care and be patient with the process. With time and support, most women are able to move forward while still honoring a lost baby. Discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider during follow-up visits. Connect with resources and other women who understand your journey. You do not have to go through this alone.

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