When a woman loses her baby or has another type of pregnancy dissolution, it can hit her and her family with a tremendous amount of complicated emotions.
Women who lose their pregnancies or infants shortly before or after birth, may be MORE likely to experience:
- perinatal or postpartum depression
- other serious mental health issues
in addition to grieving the loss of their baby.
Women and their partners are often in the position of having to disclose their losses to others and then experience the reactions of others, which can be tremendously upsetting and burdensome.
Additionally, women and their partners have started to make mental or tangible plans for the new baby, requiring them to “rewrite” what they have imagined and sometimes deal with the “things” associated with a new baby, such as the nursery room or baby shower gifts.
These situations can feel disabling and trigger tremendous ongoing pain. Over the past years, I have worked with many women and their partners who have experienced these types of losses.
While it may sound surprising, these women are often the ones whom I most enjoy treating because the work is so meaningful and the outcomes are so rewarding. It can be hard to imagine that one might ever feel better again after this kind of loss, but I have observed over and over that women can integrate these losses, make meaning out of their experiences, develop strength and resilience, be productive, healthy, and happy again.
We don’t work to forget the loss; we work to move past it.
The loss will always be there, but the way you experience it can change. You do not need to continue to suffer. You will not forget or care less about your baby, you will simply be able to be present in your world again without constantly holding the loss as the focus of your life, and you will be able to feel better.