How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss

How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss Jacksonville Florida

1 in 4 Women Will Experience Infant & Pregnancy Loss

At some point in life you’ll find yourself wondering how to support someone you care about whose grieving an infant or pregnancy loss. Perhaps it’s you who’s lost a baby and you’re wondering; what sorts of feelings are normal, and what you should share and expect from others during this time. What happens when someone you know is pregnant and they lose their baby, be it 2 weeks or 30 weeks gestation? Losing one of the greatest gifts anyone can be blessed with hurts. Parents will grieve and they’ll need support whether they say so or not.

Life moves on. Meanwhile their life seems to stands still.

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.

First Coast Doulas supports families as they bring their babies home and many who never get that chance. We receive more messages and phone calls than you could imagine. People reach out for support and to talk about their loss. We talk with them about what they’re experiencing and about being as comfortable as possible through this difficult time. We also discuss what they might expect next and how their loved ones can support them best.

It’s crystal clear that more people want to know how to support those they care about during pregnancy loss, they just aren’t always sure how.

First, you must understand that supporting others through a loss can pull at your heart strings and may feel awkward.

Imagine how hard it must be for them, they’ve lost their baby. We can do hard things. It will feel terrible and may feel awkward, show your support anyway. Don’t avoid the parents, embrace them. Be prepared to support them in a way that is best for them, not always what you might want. Each loss is different, unique, and tragic. Each baby is special.

Be present for them, even in silence.

Words aren’t always necessary. A silent supporter lets the parents talk, cry, or share any range of feelings they’re experiencing without interjecting their own perception or thoughts. You might make her a glass of warm tea and just be there by her side and acknowledge how much it sucks. There is no need to try and cheer her or fix her. Perhaps you stop by and lend a hand to the partner who is out doing some yard work, little to no words are necessary in this arena. Drop a card in the mail and include a gift card for dinner.

How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss Jax FL | Newborn Jax FL

Talk about their baby, use their baby’s name.

It doesn’t matter how pregnant she was. This little one means everything to its parents. Ask them if they’ve given their baby a name, even if they didn’t know the sex of their baby a name is beautiful way to honor and remember them. When our grandmothers pass away we talk about them and we use their names. We keep their name and spirit alive that way. You can do the same and the parents may appreciate that someone else remembers their baby too!

Do not expect them to celebrate your pregnancy or birth.

Even if this is your best friend, do not expect anything from her during this time. If she does attend your baby shower or comes by after your baby is born to congratulate you, please acknowledge that you know this is difficult for her and that you love her and appreciate her for sharing in your joy.

Never put a timeline on someone else’s pain.

Everyone grieves in their own time. There are stages of grief and people don’t always move through them on the same timeline, some move forward while others move backward and forward. Please do not impose your own ideas on when someone should be “over it”, parents are never over it. They just learn to cope and deal better as time passes, but the place they prepared in their hearts for their baby or babies will always exist.

Tears are more than okay.

In fact, it may be very helpful for her to know that her baby was important and matters to more than just her. Even if you aren’t familiar with the grief of losing a child yourself, knowing you are grieving for her loss because you care so much for her is touching and it just feels good to be loved. Human kindness and compassion goes a long way.

Help out in whatever way you can, but be understanding if they say no.

Bring food, or go grocery shopping. Prepare some food for the family. You might offer to walk her dog or help by tidying up a little. Doing some laundry, taking kids to practice or to and from school help lighten the load. Another mom shares that her co-worker remembered her favorite dessert and she dropped it by with some coffee.

Don’t question or judge her choices. Trying to conceive, waiting to try, and timing are all very, very personal, especially after pregnancy loss. She will share when she is ready.

Allow her to grieve in any way she may need to and time to talk about her loss when she is ready.

Be kind with your words to all, you never know what others are going through.

Don’t forget to acknowledge the person’s partner/spouse.

Don’t dismiss someone’s loss because the pregnancy wasn’t planned or because they have other children.

When you are wondering how to show support through pregnancy loss, please avoid anything that starts or includes:

  • Well, at least…
  • Look at it this way…
  • Maybe this pregnancy wasn’t meant to be…
  • God has other plans…

Replace those with:

  • I’m sorry, that sucks…
  • I can see how much you’re hurting…
  • I’ll never understand why babies are taken away…
  • Your hopes and dreams for your baby were crushed, understandably you are disappointed…

We hope this blog is helpful to you and to those you share it with. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person, no matter how small!”

Authored by: Elizabeth Luke

Owner and Doula at First Coast Doulas, LLC

Baby Jax FL | How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body

If this blog poem touches you, please share it with your friends so they can be touched too!

 

I wrote this poem in honor of all mothers, young and old, new and veteran, with babies here in their arms and babies who are no longer on this Earth.

For mothers of one and mothers of ten.

For those who are confident in themselves and their beauty both internal as well as external and for those who struggle with believing they are beautiful.

For the adoptive mothers and for those who made the selfless decision to  bless another woman with motherhood.

For the surrogate mothers, for the mothers who birthed alone and the mothers who birthed surrounded by support.

For mothers who had cesarean births and mothers who had a vaginal birth, birth is birth.

For the all mothers who have grown and who have changed, for it is not only our physical being that morphs, but also emotional and spiritual.

Life is a journey, you are never the same person today as yesterday, grow, change, and love yourself, for noone can ever love you quite the way you are capable of loving yourself.

To each and every one of you I say, you are beautiful. Your postpartum body is beautiful!

First Coast Doulas wants you to see your beauty, we believe in you even if you lose your confidence. Contact us today and get the support you’ve been searching for!

postpartum body Jacksonville

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body

By Elizabeth Luke

 

A softness never felt before,

An empty space once full,

Your hips have spread, and blood is shed,

Nothing is ever quite comparable.

 

Your eyes bare witness to skin stretched and worn,

It’s your pre-baby body your new motherly body mourns.

 

Milk drips unapologetically from your breasts, this has never happened before,

You gently grasp them and notice, that they are tender and sore.

 

The tone and definition that once adorned your arms,

Has slowly been replaced with motherly beauty and charm.

 

Gazing back in the mirror, a strangers eyes you meet,

A stranger in your skin is the strangest you will meet.

 

Standing in your postpartum body, you gauge the extent of the transformation,

When suddenly you feel acceptance as you have a revelation.

 

This stranger soon becomes familiar, a woman you once knew,

A woman whose has grown and stretched to become what she was destined to.

 

Destine to become a mother, beautiful and true,

In her own postpartum body,

She grew into someone new.

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body,

You are beautifully and wonderfully made,

Beautiful is your postpartum body,

Please do not be afraid.

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body,

It grew,

And it changed,

And it birthed.

 

Embrace your beautiful postpartum body,

Let your light shine through,

For when you accept what you have become you will be renewed.

Part 2: [Women] In Isolation

This blog is about women and the common thread we share! This is part 2, you can find part 2 here.

The day came that a friend threw me a baby shower. It actually made the few weeks leading up to it fly by when time was otherwise standing still, or so it seemed.

We ate, boy did we eat. We had cake, h’orderves, punch, fruit, cheese and cracker tray and the spread continued. I love food and I know some of you are foodies too so I can’t skip over those details.

We shared in some silly games. My friends and family pampered me and showered me with gifts, and engaged in deep and meaningful conversations.

A couple ladies shared their birth stories, while others chimed in here and there adding something funny, amazing, or embarrassing that she experienced. It was great!

One of my friends shared that she and her husband were struggling with infertility. She went into detail about the never ending rollercoaster the two of them had been on and the sadness she felt. She also shared about the extreme amount of guilt she carried with her. She was clearly dealing with a lot and had only shared these feelings with her husband who just didn’t understand. She was clearly living in isolation herself.

Another friend miscarried only days after I found out we were expecting, I had no idea. She was suffering in silence too, expressing that she was jealous that I was having a baby and her co worker wouldn’t shut up about her pregnancy. She said that while she knew what she felt towards me and her co-worker was only because of her own loss, she didn’t know what else to do expect ignore my calls and avoid me, especially since she had to deal with her co-worker on a day to day basis. At this point I see she had chosen to silence and isolation to avoid hurting me.

Neither friend wanted to steal our sunshine or evoke sadness on me at a time that was suppose to be so wonderful. My friends, in the midst of dealing with some of the hardest moments, feelings and emotions in their lives were thinking of me. All the while I thought of them as having abandoned me, I felt I was in isolation.

That baby shower was a more than a celebration of a baby’s life, it was a celebration of all life,those here, those lost, and those yet to come. A celebration of women and the common thread many of us share. It was a life changing moment for me as a woman. I have since been told by my friend who miscarried that her opening up at the shower was healing for her.

I realized that I was extremely blessed. I realized that sometimes things aren’t always as they appear, perspective is everything. We as women, sadly we all shared the feeling of isolation, yet we were connected in spirit through our isolation.

I try each day to look beyond my own circumstances and point of view. In doing this I have become more mindful and in the moment. I have allowed myself to be more compassionate to others, to dig deep and reach out, because sometimes when people treat you a certain way they may very well be in a place where they can’t see past their own circumstances at that moment.

Being alone doesn’t have to mean you are in isolation, maybe it means you’re taking the time you need, time to grieve, time to reflect, to settle into the present, to breathe and just be in the moment and to also know you are not alone!

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