Miscarriage is common, not to mention loss due to ectopic pregnancy, IVF, abortion, stillbirth and perinatal deaths.
Each year in Australia, approximately 150,000 couples experience reproductive loss; about 147,000 experience a miscarriage, 1,750 babies are stillborn and about 850 babies die in the first 28 days after birth (Sands). Sands promotes awareness, parent support and understanding following the death of a baby (occurring any time from conception through to newborn)
Unresolved pregnancy loss can have a profound impact on both men and women. Yet within our society it is an unspeakable subject. Untold number of mothers and fathers keep silent about their pain, guilt, shame, hurt, some deny, dismiss, suppress, it is kept private and hidden. Many feel alone and unaware of how prevalent it is.
For those who have someone close that have experienced a pregnancy loss, know that losses of all types can be viewed by many as a transient unimportant event. This can, and often does, invalidate and minimise women and men’s feelings resulting in disenfranchised grief and can create an overwhelming, lonely and traumatic experience for them.
“I didn’t know I had the right to grieve.”
Cat shares how she didn’t know she had the right to grieve after the loss of her 2 children through abortion. She shares how it impacted her life and relationship with her other children.
Joyce kept pushing her grief down.
Joyce has experience many losses, 4 through ectopic pregnancies, 3 miscarriages and 6 babies though IVF, she just kept pushing her grief down she didn’t know she was allowed to grieve or how to grieve.
Joanne lost Angel at 22 weeks
Joanne had a premature labor and loss her daughter Angel at 22 weeks gestation followed by a relationship breakup she packed her grief away for 19 years.
THE INJURY WITHIN
“The overwhelming need may not be readily apparent, yet careful clinical observation and research indicate there are millions of people in every country deeply wounded by confusing conflicts, intense emotions, personality handicaps and progressive dehumanization resulting from unresolved pregnancy losses and abuses. Many people are able to keep up a façade of health, but they quickly decompensate with physical complaints or psychiatric disturbances in time of relatively minor crisis.”
Professor P. Ney MD FRCP(C) MA RPsych.