How to get help after the unimaginable: the loss of a child.
In 2002, Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown and Tammy Novak petitioned the federal government to proclaim October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Today, all 50 states have a yearly proclamation in honor of those who have lost a child during pregnancy or during infancy.
The death of a child is always a tragedy, and the aftermath is never easy. The death of a baby, either through miscarriage or during infancy, is no exception. No mother grieves the loss of a child in the same way, but fortunately there are resources and no one has to walk that path alone. The time it takes to heal will vary for each individual and family member, but eventually you will find peace again.
Moving Forward From Infant Loss
Support groups are helpful for families in grief. There is comfort to be found knowing there are others going through similar feelings and situations. Many parents blame themselves for the loss of a child. Support groups help you navigate those feelings openly and honestly, and you will find you are not alone in many of your thoughts and hopefully you will realize that you are not to blame. You may find it difficult to open up to your partner about what you are experiencing. Talking about your emotions with your partner, a friend, a counselor or spiritual leader will help you make sense of your loss.
Taking care of your physical self is as important as taking care of your emotional self. It’s important that you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep and getting fresh air. In the face of grief, these steps can seem trivial, but they are vital in moving forward.
Some parents fear healing means they will forget their child. That will never happen. Your child will be in your heart forever.
When To Try Again After Infant Loss
It’s common to ask when you’ll be able to try to get pregnant again after a miscarriage. Generally, the first menstrual period occurs four to six weeks after a miscarriage, and it’s typically safe to conceive at that point. In some cases, you might be advised to have testing first to find the cause of your miscarriage. It’s also important to wait until you’re emotionally ready. Fears of suffering another pregnancy loss are common after a miscarriage. The reality is that most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy. If you have suffered the loss of a miscarriage and have questions, please call us to discuss your options.
And don’t forget your friends and family who have walked and are walking this difficult path. This month is about raising awareness, but supporting those we love is a year-round job.