Studies available indicate that men often report the same feelings as women after a pregnancy loss. Many men experience sadness, grief, stress, anxiety, and depression after their partner miscarries. In one study of 386 partners, 7 percent reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress one month after a pregnancy loss.
According to a research carried out by the University of College London and the Miscarriage Association (“UCL Survey”) on 160 partners of women who miscarried, 85 percent of them reported sadness, 63 percent grief and 58 percent shock after their partner’s pregnancy loss. Among them, 58 percent of the partners surveyed said they struggled to concentrate as a result of their emotional turmoil, 47 percent reported sleeping problems and 48 percent said it affected their work.
Men often do not grieve as openly as their female partners, research has found. According to one study of 323 men, after miscarriage men often displayed grief less openly than their partners, but they were more vulnerable to “feelings of despair” and “difficulty in coping,” and those feelings were worsened by having seen an ultrasound scan of the baby in utero and by the length of a pregnancy before miscarriage.
Research also shows that men’s grief often takes a back seat to the expectation that they support their partner who physically experienced the loss. “A common impulse in men is to try to be ‘the rock’ for their partner who has miscarried, which men often see as requiring them to put their own feelings aside. This is compounded by the social pressure men feel to not express pain, sadness and grief.
In the UCL Survey, almost half of the men surveyed said they didn’t share how they were feeling with their partner for fear of saying the wrong thing or causing her more stress. And almost a quarter did not talk about any feelings of loss or pain with their partner at all.