October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. The loss of a pregnancy or baby is a life changing event. No matter the gestational age of the little one, you may hurt physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The loss of a little one is not something families “just get over.” Families grieve and mourn and eventually learn to live a “new normal” life.
Many times individuals feel forgotten and alone. Unfortunately, at least one in four pregnancies ends in a loss. Knowing there are others who have experienced the loss of a child may help you to feel not so alone and isolated.
It is important to remember that the loss of your little one affects the entire family. Everyone grieves differently. Please be patient with one another! There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
A few tips on grieving the loss of your baby:
- Take the time you need to grieve. Grief is an individual journey. Do not compare yourself to others.
- Remember men and women may grieve differently. Be patient with one another.
- Do not blame yourself. This was not your fault. You did not cause this to happen.
- Your feelings and thoughts are yours! It’s okay to feel sad, angry, mad, numb and even crazy at times. It’s normal to have an array of emotions.
- Take time to be good to yourself! Follow your instincts and your feelings. Ex: If you don’t want to go to your best friends baby shower, don’t go. Do what’s right for you!
- Talk about your baby. Say your baby’s name. Encourage others to talk about your baby.
- Journaling can be helpful and healing. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Write down ALL your feelings. Whatever comes into your mind, write it down. In the months to come, you will be able to read the progress you are making.
- Create a memorial. Plant a tree. Join a Walk To Remember. Donate to a cause in the name of your baby. Find something that is meaningful to you and your family.
- Seek a bereavement support group, where you can share your experience. Sharing not only helps you to heal, it also helps others heal.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. There is no shame in seeking professional help.
It is not uncommon to feel depression after a loss. If at any time you experience thoughts of harming yourself or harming someone else please seek help from your physician or a professional grief counselor. Our Bereavement team at The Women’s Hospital is here to help at any time! Call us at 812-842-4574 if you need our support.