One of the most devastating experiences is to lose a baby. Most often prenatal loss is not talked about among women, so many expectant mothers who endure a miscarriage or stillbirth feel utterly alone. It can be difficult to know how to talk about your loss and when you do, you are often faced with responses from loved ones that do not comfort you.
Whether your loss was early on or much later during pregnancy or birth, your feelings about the loss are real and valid.
Mothers who have lost babies often feel:
- Guilt and preoccupation with what she did and didn’t do during the pregnancy
- Extremely anxious and fearful about getting pregnant again
- Alone and isolated
- Upset seeing other pregnant women or babies
- Loss around hopes and dreams for the baby
- Distressed by memories of the physical loss
- Emotional pain
It is important to remember that many mothers experience loss in different ways. Some mothers may need time to grieve the loss before trying again while others feel that getting pregnant again can help them move through their grief. Some mothers may feel more neutral about the loss and worry something is wrong with them for not feeling more overt pain.
Fathers, siblings, and relatives also grieve the loss of the baby and may need support. It is often difficult for parents when there is a discrepancy in how each partner deals with grief and the loss of the baby. Each person needs to have the space to grieve in his or her own way.
Therapy can help you talk about your grief, to process the many feelings you may have about the loss, and to help you heal. Having a supportive environment to openly talk about your feelings is a crucial component in healing.