The month of October is almost over, and for many of us, it’s a month that holds our hearts and grief a little closer than normal. October is Pregnancy and Infant loss month, and acknowledges the loss of a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS, or other causes at any point during pregnancy or infancy. It is by far one of the most common threads I have seen in my practice – where SO many have had the unfortunate experience that is so incredibly isolating, and that level of loneliness can stick with you for what can seem like forever, and maybe does.
Why is it the rule to not discuss pregnancy until at least 12 weeks, and sometimes 20 weeks? The moment a positive pregnancy test is seen, a change happens to that person on all levels. It is something that we as a community need to help protect and nourish, rather than have someone start out as a mother alone. In the event that that pregnancy is not viable, we will have set up that person, who invested all their heart and body, to undergo such immense grief largely alone.
I am here to frankly say, fuck that. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ALONE!
Loss happens to so many of us, and being open about the entire process should be part of the conversation from the get-go. Creating is how we access communal support. Talk to your doctor, to your people, talk to strangers, talk to whoever you will hold space for you. The weight of this kind of grief is heavy, and it doesn’t need to be burdened by just you. As someone who has personally experienced significant pregnancy loss, it is beyond devastating. There are so many emotions tied into the process, and then so many insecurities after. And although everyone’s personal story is different, the love experienced is the same.
Let’s have miscarriage and loss be more of the conversation.
Here is a few organizations that are aiming to normalize and advance the conversation and prevention:
- Birth Mom Buds
- Black Infant Memorial
- Compassionate Friends
- Exhale: an After-Abortion Hotline – 1-866-439–
- Glow (for babylost mothers and fathers)
- Griefwatch (for perinatal loss)
- Grieve Out Loud
- Georgetown University – Emotional Healing after a Miscarriage: A Guide for Women, Partners, Family and Friends
- March of Dimes Baby Loss
- Maya’s Wings
- Miscarriage for Men
- Miscarriage Matters
- MISS Foundation
- Pregnancy Loss Directory
- Return to Zero Center for Healing
- Return to Zero: HOPE – Support for LGBTQIA+ families
- RESOLVE through Sharing – for providers
- SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
- Solace for Mothers (Birth Trauma & Recovery)
- Star Legacy Foundation – support groups
- Tears Foundation