Helping Mothers Through the Pain of Losing a Child
Stillbirth (the loss of a child during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy), miscarriage (the loss of a child during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy) and neonatal death are tragic events for a family. The grief of a pregnancy loss can also raise the risk of postpartum depression in the mother. At Franciscan Health, we go beyond medical treatment to help the family heal during this difficult time.
Franciscan Health has created caring, understanding support groups with the vision of providing parents a safe and sacred place to share the stories of their precious babies. These groups are not therapy groups. You may choose to participate or just listen. There is no pressure to share. A professional who is trained in helping grieving parents can help you and your family cope with your loss. Our free parent support groups are offered monthly to anyone, no matter when you experienced you loss.”
Ways to cope with a pregnancy loss
People cope with grief in different ways. Some benefit from our free, parent support groups. These groups typically meet monthly and are open to parents at any time – no matter when their loss was experienced. Talk to your health care provider about Franciscan Health support groups and other services in your area.
Other things that can help you through the mourning are to:
- Pay attention to your health. Eat and sleep well so your body stays strong.
- Find ways to express your feelings. Joining a support group, talking to family and friends, and keeping a journal are some ways to express grief.
- Educate yourself. Learning about the problem, what you might be able to do, and how other people have coped can help you.
- Talk about your baby and your feelings with your partner, family and friends. It may sound trite, but this is an excellent outlet for releasing bottled-up emotions.
- Admit to yourself and your family when you need help. This can lessen your pain and loneliness.
- Attend a support group. Couples who have "been there" can give support, help and hope.
- Read books, articles and poems that provide understanding and comfort so you do not feel alone. Avoid “scare” literature and technical medical publications.
- Allow family and friends to share your grief and let them offer their support.
- Give yourself time to heal. Grieving is a process. Accept that it will take time to feel better.