After Pregnancy and Infant Loss
The loss of a pregnancy or an infant is devastating.
Even if your pregnancy did not end in the birth of a live infant or if your newborn passed in infancy - all moms, dads, partners, surrogates, and adopting parents are at risk of developing a perinatal mood disorder* after the loss of a child.
If you find yourself feeling
hopeless - overwhelmed - unable to function
please ask to speak to mental health provider
Common Symptoms of Trauma After Loss
Depressed mood, irritability, or anger
Feelings of insecurity, guilt, and low self-worth
Flashbacks to the loss
Inability to remember moments around the loss experience
Inability to concentrate, recurring thoughts, being in a mental fog, or feeling disconnected from reality
Feeling lethargic, unable to move, moving slowly, or feeling “keyed” up or jumpy
Sleeping too little (insomnia) or sleeping too much
Significant weight loss or gain
Avoiding people or places that might remind you of the loss
Racing heart, rapid breathing, nausea, or diarrhea
What You Can Do When You’ve Experienced a Loss
Begin working with a mental health provider. While support won’t alter your experience, it ensures that your grief is as bearable as it can be.
Attend a bereavement support group. Peer support is essential.
Have one family member/friend check on you daily
Limit social media. It can be difficult to see others depict the “ideal” when life is uncertain
Exercise. While it can be so difficult to move, even a walk with a loved one or stretching at home can help release tension
Sleep. Find a way to protect your sleep
Nutrition. Be sure you are getting proper nutrition; sometimes a solid meal can help break up mental fog
Suicidal Thoughts Are Reason To Reach Out For Immediate Attention
*Perinatal is the medical term reflecting the time of pre-conception to one year postpartum. Many people refer to perinatal mood disorders as Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Anxiety, but other common terms like Postpartum Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or Postpartum OCD may be used depending on what symptoms you are experiencing.
A printable PDF of this information is available for download here.