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Perinatal Loss and Grief

The pieces cannot be glued; they are always rearranging.

As soon as things get clear, that is when everything starts changing.

Susan Graetz

There is a collective myth, at least in this society, that getting pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth to a live baby, and having a baby that survives is simple, despite clear evidence that this is not the case. There is an assumption that it is easy and within people’s control. A woman who uses an ovulation predictor kit and gets pregnant soon afterwards will attribute her pregnancy to using the kit and feel she had control over her conception, whereas life experience tells us all that she is simply fortunate to get pregnant that month. Women who use predictor kits and never get pregnant can attest to this.

World statistics prove that there is a big number of lost pregnancies happen every year all around the world. Unfortunately, up to one in four women who get pregnant will have a miscarriage. And there are many types of pregnancy loss: early miscarriage, missed miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, termination, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth, intrauterine death, early neonatal death, etc.

The end of the pregnancy, at whatever gestation, can be both physically frightening and emotionally painful and being looked after by professionals who care can make an otherwise unbearable experience bearable. I work with bereaved women, their partners, and their extended families, (where it is appropriate), to make this experience less intense.

My main goal in this process is to offer parents an emphatic awareness of the unique dimensions of their perinatal loss. My approach is client-centred, which involves:

· compassion, empathy, and responsiveness to needs, values and expressed preferences

· emotional support, relieving fear, and anxiety

· information, communication, and education.

There are five important aspects of caring that are present in my counselling session focused on perinatal loss and grief (Swanson-Kaufman's model for caring):

· to help my clients to understand the personal meanings of the loss

· to resonate emotionally with the mother’s (father’s) feelings

· to offer her/him realistic support, the nurturance and protection

· to facilitate the expression of her/ his grief

· to help to maintain her/his faith in her/his capacity to come through her/his loss a functioning, whole person.

The author Amy Wright Glenn wrote: "Those of us who devote our professional lives to holding space for birthing women know how heavy the shadow of 'not discussing it can be. Silent, unprocessed grief from previous pregnancy loss can deeply impact the trajectory of a mother’s future pregnancy and childbirth experiences." And she is perfectly right, pregnancy and infant loss often occur in silence, causing a moratorium on grief that can have a tremendous impact upon the health of the mother, as well as the rest of the family. This grief can transform into various physical and mental health issues. Because of that, please do not hesitate and contact me at or book a session online.

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