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