Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have this week announced that they are expecting their second child, with the pair sharing a candid black and white picture of the Duchess’s baby bump…

The announcement is likely to be a bitter-sweet moment for the pair as it comes only a few months after the Duchess revealed in an emotional letter that she lost her second child to a miscarriage.

While the news makes global headlines, it is also significant given that it is shared during Pregnancy Education Week. Observed during 13 to 21 February in South Africa, it aims to emphasise important issues that promote a healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood.

Anxiety is common after miscarriage

“The Duke and Duchess are likely to feel some anxiety and grief around this pregnancy, together with excitement, given that the miscarriage not too long ago. She may also be seen as high risk given her age of 39, and the couple may likely feel they need to be extra cautious given these circumstances,” explains Dr Iqbal Karbanee, CEO of Paed-IQ Babyline, a trusted medical advice-based service for the first 1000 days of a child’s life, starting from conception to birth and beyond.

He says that having a healthy pregnancy and baby after a miscarriage is very possible, but moms or moms-to-be would need to take extra care in dealing with the emotional trauma that comes with dealing with such an event, especially if they fall pregnant soon after the miscarriage.

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“This is because grief that is not felt or experienced fully may show up in other forms like depression, which may impact the health of one’s current pregnancy, especially if the mom is not eating properly or staying hydrated,” says Dr Karbanee. “Sadness, anxiety or guilt are all normal feelings that should not be suppressed. Don’t rush the grieving process.”

After a miscarriage, many women may blame themselves to some degree

“This is unfortunate and adds to overall stress and anxiety. Moms should focus on ensuring they have optimal emotional health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies after miscarriage. A small number of women 1% will have repeated miscarriages. The predicted risk of miscarriage in a future pregnancy remains about 20% after one miscarriage.

Dr Karbanee says that physical health is also key, and it is very important to allow the body to physically heal and strengthen after a miscarriage.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

“If you are pregnant soon after your first miscarriage, a healthy lifestyle is critical. This requires moderate exercise, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and a healthy diet. Moms should ensure they are on a healthy diet and are getting enough Iron and multivitamins, specifically Vitamin B Complex vitamins, to ensure health is optimal,” says Karbanee.

He also says that being in good physical condition helps reduce fatigue.

“Moms should remember that adequate rest is a very important part of health.

“Lastly, in families where the first child is still young and requiring attention, this increases the need for both partners to help each other as much as possible,” concludes Karbanee.

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