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  • Dr. Shari-ann James

One in Four

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Pregnancy loss

(miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss) is a frequent complication of

pregnancy. An estimated 20-25% of known pregnancies do not result in

a live healthy birth.

Many women suffer in silence. They need the time to heal both

physically and emotionally. It is important that those who have suffered

pregnancy loss have a space to process their thoughts and feelings, and

be allowed to grieve. It is important for our society to raise awareness

and bring these experiences into the light, so that no one has to suffer in

silence. If you are someone who has suffered a loss, here are some ways you can take care of yourself during this difficult period.

1. Process your pain on your own timetable. You may feel pressured

from others to be further along in your healing process or to “move on”.

Your pain is normal for what you have experienced. Never feel as

though you have to apologize for how you feel.

2. Having others share your loss. If you feel as though you are too

vulnerable to share your loss with others, you can elicit the help of

friends and relatives to inform others so you do not have to.

3. Attend to your feelings. It may be hard to be around others who are

pregnant or are new moms. For example, attending baby showers can

be painful at this time and can trigger emotional turmoil. It is important

to be mindful and to do what is best for you and your mental well being

during this time. This may include taking a break from social media,

which can be a trigger for your emotions.

4. Anniversaries and holidays. Anniversaries, such as a baby’s due

date or the date of a miscarriage, can bring about emotional turmoil.

You may choose to honor these dates in a manner conducive to your well being. Holidays can also be a tough emotional period. Take the time to do what is best for you, which could mean limited time with friends and family, or making time and space for yourself.

5. Gain support. It may be important to seek help to process your loss.

This may be through individual therapy or a support group or resources

online. It can also mean speaking with someone who has been through a

similar experience.

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