October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
and a time to honor all grieving parents. We honor those who have lost pregnancies and babies.
We hold you in our hearts and honor your grief.
We know that your grief extends well beyond this month and your trauma is valid.
We know that you never forget what you lost.
You are not alone. We remember.
Let’s honor your trauma
For many, miscarriage is more than a common experience, it can be downright traumatic.
I see this so often in my practice where a woman’s pregnancy loss, no matter how early gestationally, can be incredibly traumatic. She can face years of trauma triggers down the road, from her own body sensations (like cramps, nausea, menstruation or even another pregnancy) to places that trigger her such as the restroom or healthcare offices.
If you’ve experienced this, please know you’re not alone, you aren’t broken, and this is treatable. There are mental healthcare providers who specialize in healing from the trauma of pregnancy loss and will hold space with you in the dark until you can again see the light.
Places to start are:
- postpartumhealthalliance.org (San Diego area)
- EMDRIA.org (search by birth trauma and pregnancy loss specialty)
And many others..
Let’s honor how we talk to you.
- Sometimes people say things to a grieving parent, out of trying to bring comfort, that actually brings unintentional shame or pain instead.
My clients will often bring these wounds to session to unpack, and we’ll explore the possible choices they have moving forward: to ignore it, to speak up, to gently or directly guide what it is that they do need instead from their loved ones. Teaching others what you need while you’re grieving can take extra effort that you may not feel like you have.
I like to suggest avoiding any messages around trying to find meaning behind the loss.
Even if you have good intentions behind these phrases, please avoid finding your own interpretation such as:
- the baby was probably not meant to be
- there was likely a problem with the pregnancy anyway
- the baby is with God now
- they’re in a better place
- It’s all for the best
- You’re only given what you can handle
Instead, generally safe comfort phrases can be:
- I’m so sorry.
- I can see that you’re hurting.
- Would you like to talk about it?
- Would you like to share what happened? I’m here whenever you do.
- What did you wish people (or I) knew?
If they have named the baby, please use the baby’s name. Even years later. Grieving parents will tell you if that’s not what they want but please don’t make the decision for them by avoiding it.
It takes a village to raise a child, so it makes sense it can often take a village to heal from the loss of a child as well.
Let’s remind grieving parents they’re not alone💜