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
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.