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National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing

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If you have access to a computer please go to www.suicidehotlines.com. Or call the national suicide hotline for help at 1-800-784-2433 (I-800-SUICIDE)

If you have recently had an abortion, I hope this information will help you to cope.

Some women are overwhelmed by the feelings that come after an abortion. If you are in that place, please be gentle with yourself.

If you are having any medical complications that concern you such as abdominal pain, continued bleeding, strange discharge or clotting, please seek medical attention. If you do not have a gynecologist or family doctor, an Urgent Care facility can help.

IF YOU ARE BLEEDING HEAVILY, HAVE EXTREME ABDOMINAL PAIN OR ARE RUNNING A FEVER, these are medical emergencies. Please go to an emergency room.

Be sure to finish the prescription for antibiotics that the doctor at the clinic gave you. Please follow all instructions for after care given you at the clinic. Resumption of sexual activity prematurely can cause an infection. Follow all instructions given to you for self care.

Catherine Sanders, Ph.D. in her book "How to Survive the Loss of a Child"

"Like miscarriage, induced abortion is not considered to be a source of grief. Unlike miscarriage, abortion is usually kept secret and carries with it a sense of guilt and shame. Society gives those who go through an induced abortion no liberty to acknowledge grief or loss. Needless to say, society at large rarely helps a woman deal with her loss when she has chosen abortion. Even when the abortion is performed for medical reasons, people sympathize with the mother by telling her how lucky she is not to be having an unhealthy baby -- they do not comfort her in her loss."

Abortion is an invasive surgical procedure. It will take your body a while to recover. It is important that you take extra good care of yourself while this healing is going on. Here are some suggestions on self-care that might help you feel better.

If you have had a chemical abortion (RU486). Please follow your doctor's orders carefully. Be sure to return for all check ups. If you are a teen and you are experiencing discomfort, use pain relievers other than Tylenol. There is research that indicates using Tylenol may make your discomfort worse. If you are experiencing any physical symptoms that are troubling you, please see a doctor. If you are bleeding heavily or in extreme pain, please go to an emergency room.

Some women report feeling hormonally unbalanced. This may be due to your body adjusting chemically. Some women say that this sense of being "massively PMS'y" didn't disappear until they passed projected due date. They describe feeling jittery, weepy, raging and unsettled. This will get better but it may take some months to completely disappear.

This is a time to make sure you are eating an adequate diet. It is important that you increase your intake of protein (meat, poultry, fish, cheese, tofu, nuts if you are not allergic, peanut butter, cold meat) during this time. Eat it at least a couple of times a day. If you don't have much of an appetite, snack on protein rich foods. Protein is the building block of body repair. It also will help to stabilize your blood sugar. Fresh vegetables and fruit are also good to have now.

You may not be able to sleep well. Sleep can be restless or disturbed. Some people report having nightmares. Try taking 20 minute power naps during the day. This short nap will help to refresh you and because it is so short, it will not allow you to move into your dream cycle. Sleep deprivation will make you feel terrible.

Try to get some exercise everyday. A short walk in the daylight will help by triggering your brain chemistry. If you are used to running, jogging or working out, this is good time to be faithful to your workout.

Alcohol and drugs are not a good idea right now. They can make you feel worse in the long run.

If you have tasks to accomplish, it might help to break them down into more manageable segments. You might find yourself having to cope in a moment to moment style. This is fine. It will get you through what you have to deal with at this time. This need to take life in small bits is not uncommon after a difficult life experience. This will get better with time.

You may feel emotionally overwhelmed when your period returns. This is a normal reaction. It will pass.

You may find your relationship with your partner or spouse to be very strained. This can be caused by the fact that you are both dealing with the reality of your abortion in different ways. He may not seem to understand what you are feeling or simply tell you to get over it. This is not helpful to you at this time. Some couples also report communication breakdowns. Try to share honestly what you are feeling so he understands and can be supportive.

If you are feeling incapacitated by your depression, please see a doctor to be evaluated for possible medication.

If you are a teen or young adult, you can contact us for a book entitled 'No One Told Me I Could Cry" . We will send it to you in an envelope with no return address. You can request the book by writing to us at noparh@juno.com Please give us your name and mailing address.

If you would like to find someone near you to talk to, please check out the rest of this site or call 1-800-5WE-CARE. This is a referral line that will help you to find someone you can talk to.

If you have questions or concerns or just want to make to contact with someone, you can email us at noparh@juno.com. We are here to help you in any way that we can.

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