With much respect, may I see a show of hands?
I know I can’t see you, but will you raise your hand if you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss? Ok. So, your hand may be raised, but it may not. Now, if not you personally, has someone close to you experienced a loss? Your hand definitely should be raised now. One in four pregnancies end in loss. If you don’t know someone personally who's experienced this, it’s because they haven’t shared it with you. The truth is too often hidden. Too many of us suffer in silence.
It’s Infant Loss Awareness Month.
This is the month we acknowledge the miscarriages, stillbirths and other losses that touch our lives. Whether it’s our own personal biological loss, or the hopes we’ve shared with our sisters, friends, cousins, that weren’t realized the way we imagined…we’ve all been touched by loss.
There’s not much space in the public eye for loss support, but one of the people who's changing this is Dr. Jessica Zucker. I encourage you to check out what she’s doing on Instagram @ihadamiscarriage. She has created a safe space for women to submit their miscarriage stories in order to help break the stigma surrounding loss, and so that other women don’t feel so helpless. Not on IG? You can check out an article on her work here: https://www.self.com/story/jessica-zucker-miscarriage-instagram
I have personally walked closely alongside clients who experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and late-term loss. They have been experiences that have shaped me into a better therapist, and a more compassionate human being. I am constantly in awe of the power of all birthing people, and the resiliency we are capable of in the full spectrum of outcomes in pregnancy.
How can we create a healthier cultural dynamic on this topic?
Maybe we can start by asking:
-What kind of support can you provide to a loved one after a loss?
-What kind of support could you request from those who love you after your own loss?
The answers can vary as much as individuals do, but here are a couple of ideas:
-Sitting with someone in their pain and following their lead. Talking or not talking can be ok.
-Gifting them a journal to write down their feelings.
-Planting a tree or whole garden in honor of the baby.
-Taking flowers to the ocean and letting them go in the water.
-Finding an in-person or online support group of others who understand.
I’m always looking for ways to be of better service to you. We don’t yet have bereavement massage on our website, but Postpartum Massage is just as applicable to those who have experienced a loss, as any other postpartum person. If you or someone you love need some support, postpartum massage may help in your healing after a loss. Just let us know that you’ve experienced a loss, and we will tailor the massage to match your needs with a high level of sensitivity. Listen to your body. It may do you good to be able to reconnect with your body when perhaps you feel like it may have betrayed you, and feel nurtured through therapeutic touch as you heal.
We’re here for you if you need us.