Losing a pregnancy or a newborn is a heartbreaking experience for mothers, fathers and families. While the pain of loss may seem overwhelming, moving past your grief is possible. You can do it with the loving support of those who are close to you.
Remember that you are not alone
Other mothers and families have felt the loss of a baby. Many of them have chosen to address their grief by working with grieving mothers who have more recently experienced the same kind of loss.
By connecting with others, you can share your emotions in a “judgment-free zone” and find ears that are willing to listen. They can provide a nurturing, caring environment that will help you address your grief. And they can share the coping skills they learned during their own moments of difficulty.
Organizations such as First Candle and Hand to Hold offer a wide range of support and lists of counseling resources in your area. The March of Dimes can help guide families and offer support. Get connected to other families who have experienced extended hospital stays in intensive care by visiting the March of Dimes.
Do your best to reduce stress
The weeks and months following the loss of a child are very stressful times. And this stress can take a big toll on your physical well-being, leading to higher blood pressure and weight gain.
You can take small steps to reduce stress by:
- Taking deep, slow breaths when you begin feeling anxious
- Trying to sleep between seven and eight hours a night
- Staying active and engaging in moderate exercise
- Expressing your feelings of grief through creative pursuits (writing, painting, dance or song)
Seek professional counseling for depression
Parents who have lost a child face feelings of depression and anxiety, from constant sadness and sleep deprivation to worrying, feelings of detachment and panic attacks.
Talk to your nurse or health care provider about your feelings. They can get you the help you need. You can also call the National Lifeline for Support at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
The Compassionate Friends offers more than 600 chapters across the United States. Grieving parents and siblings can meet to both receive and give emotional support. Use their Chapter Locator to find a meeting place in your area.
For more information on getting help, the Texas Department of State Health Services has information here.
Learn more about the symptoms and treatment methods for depression.