Common Symptoms

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

  • Anxiety

  • 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.