Finding Healing and Improving Mental Health
Following Miscarriage, Pregnancy Loss, Termination, Stillbirth & Infant Death
Finding meaning and connection with your baby
- Women who find meaning in their loss report decreased mental distress, increased marital satisfaction, ongoing bonds with their deceased child, and better physical health (Caccitore, 2013; Jaffe, 2014).
- It is not uncommon for mothers to remain connected to their baby and continue the relationship through ritual for many years after the death of their baby (Caccitore, 2013; Cote_Arsenault & Mahlangu, 1999; Jaffe, 2014; Uren & Wastell, 2002).
- Parents feel empowered when they create their own rituals to maintain this connection (Brin, 2004).
- It may take many years to come to a sense of meaning and experience healing (Caccitore & Bushfield, 2007).
- Social support plays a role in buffering the effects of trauma and in mediating stress after bereavement (Caccitore, 2013; Caccitore, Schnebly, & Froen, 2008; Kersting & Wagner, 2012).
- Women are searching for an environment where they have permission to talk about their child’s death and meet other mothers in a similar situation (Caccitore, Schnebly, & Froen, 2008; Jaffe, 2014).
- An intervention that allows mothers to express their emotions and retell their stories helps to decrease depression, self-blame, and trauma (Caccitore, 2013).
- Women find bereavement support groups and talking with other parents helpful because they validate their experience, provide comfort and connection, and reverse isolation (Caccitore & Bushfield, 2007).
- Resilience is a character trait that has been observed to be a counterweight to mitigate mental distress. Support networks are a major ingredient of resilience and are significantly associated with decreases in both depression and PTSD (Caccitore, Schnebly, & Froen, 2008; Gold, Leon, Boggs, & Sen, 2016), as well as with improvements in health outcomes and prevention of disease (Hutti, 2004).
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