April was one of the hardest months of my life. After years of infertility, infertility treatments to conceive our two children, my husband and I became pregnant on our own. It was unexpected and honestly brought so much fear. My first two pregnancies were incredibly challenging, both physically and emotionally. Both pregnancies filled with many hospital visits, bleeding, growth issues, placenta issues, bed rest, and so much uncertainty. I was scared to say the least and wasn’t sure how I could do it all over again.
What came over the next month were many tests and ultrasounds, all pointing to an inviable pregnancy. One with complications and risks and my husband and I had to make the ultimate decision to say good bye and let the pregnancy go. It was one of the most excruciatingly painful times of my life. I was so fortunate to have many women step up and share their own similar experiences with me. During a time when I felt so alone, I was lifted up by those who knew the pain I was going through. I am beyond grateful for that support and I want to make sure other women feel just as supported.
I have created a list of 5 ways I felt truly supported. If you know a woman going through this experience, below are a few ways you can help her.
5 Ways to support a mom through pregnancy loss
- Acknowledge her loss and offer her the space to grieve. While the pregnancy may not have felt real for outside world, many times the mother is left feeling a deep sense of grief. Remind her that she does not always have to be strong and that you are here for her.
- Offer to bring food over. After pregnancy loss, the mother’s body is tired, drained and depleted. Thinking about making dinner for her family is the last thing she needs to worry about.
- Allow her to speak freely about her experience. Many moms feel really alone during this time. Pregnancy loss is not talked about openly. Sharing our experiences allows women to know they have a community that understands.
- Help her find resources for counseling or other forms of therapy. By working through the emotions, this allows the mom to move forward in a healthy way.
- Offer to help with the kids. Allowing her time to heal is important. She needs to rest and many times her children won’t understand what is wrong. Knowing her kids are happy and taken care of will allow her to take the time for herself that she needs.
We are here for you if you are going through pregnancy loss. Know that you are not alone and that you have a community of women around you that will lift you up when you need it most.