Coping with the Loss of a Baby

Coping with the Loss of a Baby

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day – October 15th

Brandy McDowell – October 15, 2021

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

Grief is complicated. There’s no universal method to processing it. Sometimes it comes and goes, and other times it lingers. The most important thing is that we feel our feelings fully and seek help if necessary.

Grieving the death of someone you love is complex and can be even more so when that someone is your newborn or infant. That someone is a part of you, the person you spent months reimagining what life would be like when they arrived and planned your life around. It will take time to heal.

Some people say that this level of grief is a forever process and that it doesn’t ever go entirely away and becomes manageable over time. There is no magic cure to resolve grief. The days, months, and sometimes years go on, and your baby will forever hold a space in your heart. It’s not about forgetting but coping.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 1 in 4 women experiences pregnancy and infant loss. Many aren’t aware of these frequent occurrences and the prevalence among women of color. Many women don’t report miscarriages out of disbelief and sometimes shame, but there is nothing to be ashamed of. Most women will experience a cycle of unexpected emotions with the loss of their baby, which is why it is so important to acknowledge the different ways to find peace amidst the turmoil.

Ways to manage your grief when the unthinkable happens

Grief is not something that you should go through alone. While you may want to isolate yourself, you must surround yourself with support at this time, mainly because your body may still be in recovery mode and act as a constant reminder of the loss.  

  • If agonizing sadness persists, seek counseling or therapy from a certified medical professional
  • Talk to your doctor about ways to maintain a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of rest to heal your body physically
  • Reach out to family and friends for comfort
  • Ask around about support groups for grieving mothers
  • Only talk about the loss when you feel comfortable
  • Be vocal about your wants and needs

The bottom line is the emotions you may feel are unique to you and only you. Others who have had the same experience can relate, but your feelings are your own, and it is okay to take as much time as you need to move forward.

It is also okay to remind people that you are still in the grieving process and honor your baby’s existence. As stated early they will forever be in your heart, and it is perfectly normal to acknowledge that in whatever way you see fit. You are not alone.

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