Pregnancy Grief and Loss
Miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, and termination
Women and their families who have experienced pregnancy grief and loss through miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, termination and neonatal death, face a very difficult and emotional time.
We know that 1 in 4 families experience miscarriage (pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks). Rates vary for stillbirth and other perinatal losses.
Pregnancy grief and loss is a process and not an event, and there is no time frame on the process.
Pregnancy grief and loss can affect thoughts, feelings, behaviours and beliefs, and relationships with others. When a family experiences a miscarriage, stillbirth, or termination, the intensity of grief is not about the number of weeks gestation - it depends on the hopes, dreams and imaginings the parent had about their baby - what we know as “Gestation in Mind”.
Common pregnancy grief and loss feelings:
disbelief and shock, sadness, anger, bargaining
Families who have experienced pregnancy loss often can feel very isolated as those around them may not know what to say and avoid them or say well-meaning but hurtful things.
We also know that pregnancy grief and loss can be a very isolating time for bereaved families. Perinatal grief and loss is known as a “disenfranchised grief”, it is often not spoken about or validated. People around the bereaved family may not know what to say and may avoid the family or may say well-meaning but hurtful comments. In either case the bereaved family is left feeling isolated and alone. Our perinatal psychologists and psychiatrist are able to provide psychological support through this time.