October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

As many as 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies are lost to miscarriage during the first trimester. And, in spite of advances in obstetric medical technology, stillbirth still occurs and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is still a leading cause of infant loss in the United States. Even though many people do talk about their experiences, countless end up dealing with the loss of a pregnancy or infant in silence. In recognition of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, we’d like to take the opportunity to talk about things in the light.

There’s no certifiable “norm” of emotions after losing a pregnancy or infant

Sorrow, envy of others, anger at the situation, guilt, or even relief—all of these are emotions that can surface when you lose a pregnancy or infant. You may even have a lack of emotion at all. Many women don’t anticipate the slew of different emotions they experience during these situations. Because a lot of women keep the topic to themselves, they never get that pretty much any emotion goes.

Some grieve the loss for many years

A recent publication by The New York Times | Parenting mentioned the oral history of a lady who was well into her 80s with nine other children who still experienced grief about the child she lost. Just as there is no norm for emotions, there is also no expiration date on those emotions you do experience.

Tips to Remember If You’ve Had a Miscarriage or Lost an Infant

  • Talk about what happened to the people in your life who are the closest.
  • Give yourself time to grieve; consider taking some time off of work or doing something other than your usual routine.
  • Consider seeking counseling if you or your partner is having an especially difficult time.

The more open and ongoing the discussion is about miscarriage and infant loss, the more those who suffer through these situations feel like they are not alone. For Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, make it a point to share your own experience with others and be there for those who have experienced a loss.

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