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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