Resources for those grieving pregnancy loss
Child loss support groups will welcome those who have experienced a miscarriage.
Whether you want to share or just listen, in-person groups can be a huge comfort.
Find groups through community centers, local church organizations, and your healthcare provider.
There is also a wide range of online groups for any preference and desired level of participation.
The literature about this kind of grief is also very broad, if you prefer to read about others’ experiences.
Above all, make sure that even if you want this grief to stay private that you do not feel alone.
In the past, our culture has considered losing a pregnancy to be a private thing, an event rarely discussed in public, leaving families to grieve alone for this acutely painful loss. But that is slowly shifting. No grief should have to be experienced in silence, and those who have experienced miscarriage and their families are sharing their stories more and more.
As you feel the range of emotions that can come with this loss, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Current data suggests that 10-15% off all pregnancies end in miscarriage, suggesting there are many more families going through this than you might have imagined.
As our society becomes more open about and concerned with mental health, we’ve seen more examples of visible grief when people lose their baby. Whether it’s through personal stories like Chrissy Teigen’s very generous public mourning, or through the growth of virtual support groups on social platforms, miscarriage is being recognized as a unique kind of emotional turmoil.
While more discussion around the topic is helpful on the whole, it might not help you feel any less alone in the moment. And that’s OK—your grief is your own. Just like all other instances of grief, there is no one universal path forward.
There are, however, avenues to explore that may help you cope, feel less alone, and find comfort in those people in your life you love and can lean on.
Seek out community
Community means different things to different people. In this case especially, who you share your journey with can feel like an extremely weighty decision.
There are, of course, many support groups that exist for the loss of a child—and that includes miscarriage. You can look for in-person groups through community centers, local church organizations, and even through your healthcare provider. These groups typically make space for you to share your story and emotions, but do not force it if you do not want to speak. You can just listen, you can go alone or with other family members, and/or you can make connections with other people who are going through a similar experience. It’s up to you how you explore and find comfort in these options.
Support groups also exist online, and there is a vast range of types and levels of participation. Some are dedicated specifically to those who have physically lost a pregnancy, while others include other family members who are grieving. You’ll hear other peoples’ stories in these groups, and will likely be exposed to a variety of shared resources to help you as you go through the mourning.
If group options do not feel right to you, that’s OK. Again, this has been considered an extremely private type of grief for so long, and you might feel the desire to keep your emotions close. This does not mean that you need to feel alone, however. There is a wide variety of literature out there that addresses your experience, from fiction to memoirs to self-help lit. A quick internet search will bring up a plethora of book lists you can explore to find community in the experience of others.
Find daily comforts
During this time, any joy you experience might feel like a betrayal of your grief. However, you can and should find little (or big) ways to make it through the difficult days. Going back to activities you loved before the loss, like exercise or cooking or watching your favorite comfort TV show, can help you ease back into your own personal peace.
You can also take up new habits, like going for daily walks or journaling, as a way to reflect on your emotions. Even something as simple as lighting a candle at a certain time every night and giving yourself space to think about the day can be a comfort.
These ideas might seem small in the wake of your grief, but often it’s the small things that get us through the hardest times.
Take time out for yourself and your family
Miscarriage, and the grief associated with it, often gets discussed as only being experienced by the person who is physically dealing with the trauma of it. This is a limited view: miscarriage takes its toll on anyone who expected to love and cherish the child. Because of this, your family can benefit a great deal from leaning on, supporting, and spending time with each other.
Dinners, outings to your favorite outdoor space, game nights—whatever you love to do together—make an effort to plan them. Doing the things that bring you joy together will also open you up to being open and honest with each other about how you are feeling and the loss you have experienced.
When you’ve experienced a miscarriage in your family, the grief can feel overwhelming, like there is no end in sight. But by depending on the love of those around you and finding new support methods, you will get through it. You will find a way that feels right for you to honor your mourning and to remember your baby as a loved member of your family ●
Your grief and the insensitivity of others
Living with grief often means living with people’s feelings about your grief as well. From inappropriate behaviors and judgments to unrealistic expectations from others, insensitivity is everywhere. How you deal with it can make all the difference.5 min read
Back to work, with grief in tow
Returning to work and easing back into daily life after loss can be incredibly challenging and emotionally draining. There are some important steps you can take to make this process a little easier.6 min read
Each and every person grieves differently, and the things that increase your pain are going to be unique to you. The best thing you can do in these moments is to make time and space to feel your feelings and acknowledge what they are trying to tell you.4 min read