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How does a miscarriage affect your family system?

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“How are things now, a few days after the line-up?”
‘Thank you for your message. A lot has happened in the last few days. The first day I was especially tired. Got the rest I needed and went to sleep on time. But it is interesting to mention that that afternoon the children were seriously much more relaxed with each other, and that Joep even asked Maartje and Fee when they would be home for lunch the next week, because he wanted to arrange a surprise for them and me.I almost fell off my chair :-). This is no coincidence of course. So there was surprise number 1… He has indeed bought some nice sandwiches for them and me.’

Hassle in the family

The mother who wrote the above recently came into my practice. She found it difficult to have real contact with her three children, teenagers. She wanted to be a friend, the buddy feeling, not the strict, corrective mother. At times when she felt that need strongly, she noticed that her children were pushing her away or rejecting her and that they were also quick to argue with each other. That made her very sad.

It felt like she couldn’t reach them.


She said that she would have liked to have more children, because she grew up alone with her parents. All focus on her. She felt that she always had to go the extra mile to be seen by her parents, as if she had something to make up for… and that she really felt that it was a great burden.

Only child. At least that’s what she said… Until I asked about miscarriages, unborn children, abortion. It turned out that before her there were three miscarriages!

Everyone has a place

We have placed the three miscarriages next to her father, mother and herself in an individual arrangement , using floor anchors (mats that represent family members). So given this one a place. She immediately filled up. She was sucked all the way to the three miscarriages. She couldn’t take her eyes off them and stared at them for a long time.

“You may be dead.” She felt for the first time, right here in this moment, that these three non-living children were given a systemic place. She was not the oldest, but the fourth child in the nursery! There was sadness, disbelief, silence. The burden she felt about her parents’ focus on her was lifted off her shoulders. She could just be herself. Child number 4. In her own place.

Family system

Then she could turn to her life, to the future. There she saw her own three children and suddenly she felt what she had always done! Wanting to take care of her children as if they were her three dead brothers and sisters.

So not as a mother, but as a sister. It became clear to her on the spot why her children rejected her and often had disagreements among themselves. These children want a mother and not another sister. Until now, this mother had been inwardly unavailable because she unconsciously projected her past onto her children.

Right place

The life of a child who is not in the right place usually does not go as smoothly as with brothers and/or sisters. It has subconsciously taken on the task of filling the gap left by a miscarriage (or deceased or unborn sister or brother). When there is a void somewhere in the childhood row, there is a good chance that the next child will grow up at the site of the miscarriage (or deceased or stillborn child).

The above mother stood in the place of the eldest child. Unconsciously, this woman filled the life of (one of) the others. It is then difficult to feel who you are and to be a free child.

The children of the mother from the above case mirrored what the mother did energetically, ‘acquired’ in her youth. A disturbed order in the children ‘s row . The three miscarriages have not been given a clear place in the life of her parents.

This was reflected in the next generation in incomprehensible behavior and fuss between her children and not feeling the connection between mother and child.


A miscarriage, no matter how early or late in the pregnancy and maybe even ‘forgotten’, always has an impact. You, and your relationship, have been changed by the miscarriage, even though you may not have noticed it at all.

Your life would have been different without that miscarriage. So it belongs. Also has a place systemically.

What can you do if this happened to you?

It is important that you and your partner give this pregnancy(s) a place. And that’s a different kind of place than a living child’s place. A miscarriage is a (short) life, but with death. Perhaps very sad and painful. “You may be dead.”

This recognition is necessary. All the facts and feelings that were there then may be there and be part of your life. If you can give the miscarriage a place in your life, your children can stand in their own place and peace, space and life energy are created. For you and your children! If it is (too) intense or does not bring you the peace you hope for, an individual setup as in the story above is recommended.


When there is balance again in the family system, it has an effect on the life of the person who made the constellation, but also on other family members who know nothing about it. This is how it works with energy and the strength of the inseparable family ties…


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