October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This month we honor the children who passed during pregnancy or infancy and were gone from their families too soon. It is also a chance to discuss and educate ourselves on this sensitive subject. Death and grief are never easy topics to discuss, especially when it has to do with our precious babies.
Whether it has been weeks, months, or years, the grief and pain of pregnancy and infant loss will always be there. It is not an easy road to navigate as the one experiencing the loss or as the family and friends trying to support those who have lost a baby. Here are a few gentle reminders for all of us during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
1. You don’t need a baby in your arms to be a Mother. Being a mother does not come from having living children. There are mothers all around us, many have their motherhood unseen, and it hurts.
2. You don’t always need to know what to say. It can be hard to understand how to approach the topic of pregnancy and infant loss. However, it is so important that we can talk about it and acknowledge it. Ask how a person is doing and be present with them. You can’t fix death, and you can’t expedite grief, but you can acknowledge it and hold space for your loved ones that are hurting.
3. Many women appreciate the understanding that the language “I am sorry you lost your baby” feels a lot different than being fully acknowledged with “I am sorry your pregnancy ended, and your baby died.”
4. By saying that a person’s baby died, you acknowledge that they have also lived. They were part of this person’s family, their hopes and dreams. If the baby had a name, we need to speak of them by name. Acknowledge their life, not just their death. This is especially important for the healing process for partners and fathers too.
5. Grief never goes away. Imagine a ball shoved into a jar, almost too big for a container. At first, the ball takes up every part of the container, but the jar begins to expand with time, love, compassion, and understanding. The hurt doesn’t shrink- people grow.
Whether you are a parent trying to navigate the pain of pregnancy or infant loss or a family member trying to support a loved one, we hope you find ways of being more gentle, compassionate, and open to holding space for yourself and others. For more resources for education and support, consider following us on social media, as we will be focusing on this topic for the month.
Moonstone Fertility is a Saskatchewan-based mind-body fertility practice that offers a variety of fertility-focused groups and workshops to support individuals and couples looking to achieve pregnancy through IVF/Fertility Treatments, surrogacy, naturally, and more. Our inclusive groups and workshops are crafted with the most current evidence-based knowledge in the practice of mental health, integrative therapies, mind-body techniques, and fertility therapy.