October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
This month’s blog is written by Perissos Therapist, Samantha Zipp Dowd, LCPC. As always, if you or someone you know would benefit from extra support, we are here to help.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and Perissos Therapy is here to offer you support if you are part of the 1 in 4 who have experienced a loss. You may never “get over” the loss of your baby, but you can move through grief to find healing. For those of us who have experienced a loss, you most likely have gone through a period of grief (and you may still be going through this!). Grief is what you think and feel on the inside after a loss – grief is personal, and the grief journey is yours. Grief knows no timeline and is not a linear process, nor can grief be rushed. Sometimes family, friends, co-workers, and our communities expect us to “move on” quickly. Please know your feelings are valid, they matter, and you do not need to be alone in this journey.
To honor and highlight Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness we wanted to offer some thoughts and resources for you or your loved one(s) who have experienced a loss.
Grief can be complicated, and you may experience physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. At times your feelings may become overwhelming, and you may experience anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, and irritability. All of these are part of the grieving process and are normal.
There is no “right way” to grieve – grief is a deeply personal experience, and you and your partner may grieve differently. Be gentle, patient and caring with one another.
Allow yourself the time and space to talk about your baby. If you do not allow yourself the opportunity to grieve, your grief may turn into more complicated grief. Give yourself permission to feel all your feelings – and again, know that all your feelings are valid!
Find those who support you and can honor your loss. Sometimes we need to talk to people beyond our partners and family. This can include a therapist, a local or national support group, or other individuals who have also experienced loss.
Ways in which you can take care and nourish yourself after your loss include:
Eating healthy foods – even if they are in small quantities
Sleep – allow your body time to rest
Do something active each day – taking a walk outside for 10 minutes is a great way to be active
Recognize that you need to heal both physically and emotionally
Talk to your provider if you have uncomfortable physical symptoms
Tell your provider if you have intense feelings of sadness lasting more than two weeks – treatment can help you feel better
If you are having thoughts of suicide, tell your provider or call 988 – the national suicide helpline
Remember you are NOT alone!
At Perissos Therapy, we have clinicians specially trained to work with those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. We can also offer support and guidance for those who have had family members or loved ones who have experienced the loss of a baby.
The following are resources we recommend helping you through this time:
Postpartum Support International: https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/ - offers free weekly support groups for both mothers and caregivers who have experience pregnancy and infant loss.
The Star Legacy Foundation: https://starlegacyfoundation.org/maryland-chapter/ - this foundation offers support for those who have experienced still born loss
The Tears Foundation: https://thetearsfoundation.org/maryland/ - offers support to families in Maryland who have experienced loss and need assistance with the financial burden of honoring their loved one.