October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is estimated that 10-15% of first trimester pregnancies end in miscarriage, which can affect mental health. Each year in the United States, approximately 24,000 babies are stillborn, and over a thousand babies a year die from SIDS.

Despite the common occurrence of miscarriage, especially in early pregnancy, it remains a taboo subject, and there is a silence and stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. As a result, parents who experience loss are often left to deal with their grief alone or are expected to move quickly, making it more difficult for them to heal.

The impact of pregnancy and infant loss on mental health

The experience of losing a child, whether it be in pregnancy or infancy, can have profound and lasting effects on mental health. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common among women who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. On the other end of the spectrum, some may feel numb and completely detached from emotion as a result. These conditions can also impact the experience of any future pregnancies.

Parents who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss are prone to nightmares and flashbacks. In addition, the mothers often tend to blame themselves for what happened and wonder if there was something they could have done differently to prevent it. This takes a significant emotional toll and often leads to anxiety and fear if they become pregnant again.

Having someone to help you process the grief that comes after pregnancy or infant loss can help tremendously and prevent any mental health symptoms you’re experiencing from becoming worse.

Benefits of grief therapy

Grief is a long and challenging process, and talking to an unbiased person can help you work through it. In addition, there are some valuable benefits of grief counseling.

With grief therapy, you’re allowed to go at your own pace. There is no set schedule for grief, and a therapist will work through you during each stage. You won’t be expected to recover from your loss after a certain number of sessions, but you are encouraged to take the time you need to process and start healing. A therapist can give you the tools you need to navigate this hard time.

Grief is a unique process for each person. It can be difficult to determine how to deal with it or even how to function sometimes. As with all types of therapy, it can help to have a non-judgemental listening ear. Family and friends are always a valuable means of support, but it can help to talk to someone who isn’t experiencing the same loss.

Where To Seek Help After Loss

Many bereaved parents find it easier to speak to a therapist who has a background in working with clients who have suffered pregnancy and child loss. There are also online and in-person support groups available in many areas. Local hospitals and birthing centers are great resources for finding such groups, and parents often get comfort from talking to people who have experienced the same type of loss.

Online therapy is a valuable option for those who are seeking grief counseling. Online therapy often has more scheduling flexibility and more opportunities to connect with your therapist. When you’re deep in grief, it’s often hard to even think about leaving the house for an appointment, but with online therapy, you can speak to a therapist from the comfort of your own home.

It’s imperative if you suffer a loss that you don’t neglect your mental health. Your feelings are valid, and you deserve to have a meaningful outlet for your grief. If you live in California and are seeking grief therapy near you, Serene Health offers both individual and family therapy and has appointments available seven days a week via our Telehealth platform. Call Serene Health at 844-737-3638 or visit us at www.serenehealth.com to schedule an appointment.