Navigating Trauma After Pregnancy and Infant Loss

The loss of a pregnancy or an infant is devastating and traumatic.

The path of grieving after pregnancy and infant loss is individual. Your physiological and psychological responses are real and valid. They are a normal result of the deep pain of grief, and these symptoms may wax and wane over time. There is no right way to walk this journey.

If you find yourself feeling

hopeless - overwhelmed - unable to function

please ask to speak to a mental health provider

COMMON RESPONSES TO 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. Support ensures that your experience 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.

If You Are Having Suicidal Thoughts, Text “HELP” to 741741 or Call 1-800-273-8255.