Pregnancy Loss

The grief that accompanies pregnancy loss can be complex and intense. Reactions and responses to this type of loss may vary significantly and are often impacted by several factors ranging from the length of the pregnancy and the cause (if known) to any impact the loss may have on future pregnancies and family plans. Yet, pregnancy loss in any form is still a significant loss for women and their families and, like all losses, requires time and grieving.  Unfortunately, the grief that an expectant parent may experience following a miscarriage or infant loss may not receive the validation and support that other types of losses often do. People may wrongly assume that “trying again” will reduce or erase the hurt that women and their partners feel. The lack of shared memories and stories can make communication about the loss difficult for others. In some instances, the loss occurred before others even knew about the pregnancy. For all these reasons, the grief that is experienced with pregnancy loss can present unique challenges to the grievers.

Some Common Reactions Following Pregnancy Loss May Include:
• Feeling cheated of the joy of pregnancy, birth and motherhood
• Feeling your body failed you and others you love; feeling like less of a woman
• Blaming yourself for the loss, feeling you must have done something wrong
• Experiencing anger, frustration or anxiety, especially if there is no clear answer as to cause
• Feeling traumatized by the events of the miscarriage or birth
• Wanting to avoid others who are pregnant, have just had a baby, or remind you of your loss
• Avoiding social situations
• Feeling a loss of control and increased feelings of fear and anxiety
• Struggling with your belief system, wondering why God allowed this to happen
• Feeling jealousy, envy, and anger towards others who seem to have children easily, or do not appear to take parenting as seriously as you
• Feeling guilt or regret because of a past abortion, or considering abortion for this pregnancy
• Seeing  the loss as a punishment
• Experiencing depression
• Experiencing Trauma symptoms – feeling unable to move forward due to overwhelming feelings and images related the events of the  loss

If you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss you may find that joining a support group specific to this type of loss will help you as you grieve. Groups can often help you feel less isolated and learn ways to cope effectively.  Individual or Couples counseling may also be highly beneficial, especially if you have had multiple losses or are experiencing reactions that are making it difficult for you to function fully in your day to day life. These reactions might include feeling constantly depressed or “on edge, difficulty sleeping, increased anxiety, nightmares or   having other panic responses like  frequently reliving the events or having other concerning physical symptoms.

If you would like to learn more about services through Cornerstone of Hope for those grieving a pregnancy loss please see our Cleveland Heart of My Heart Programs and Columbus Pregnancy Loss Support.