The loss of a baby, incomprehensible for most people, leads to a profound experience of grief for parents and family members. From dreams shattered by infertility to fulfillment dashed by miscarriage to the shock of an untimely death of an infant, baby loss brings an intense and aching personal pain. For many couples, the grief from baby loss can be felt for years afterward. Others stifle their pain in an effort to move on with their lives. Anyone who has endured baby loss needs to understand that there is no one right way to grieve. You need to recognize the validity of your emotions, seek the answers to your questions, and allow yourself to grieve. Grief counseling can support you through your bereavement and help you in healing.
Baby Loss happens in different ways to different families.
- Infertility: If you long for children, infertility brings about an unseen but painful type of baby loss often resulting in feelings of inferiority, anger, guilt, and depression. Taking responsibility or placing blame can put pressure on your marriage. Loss therapy can help you, and your spouse, work through your grief.
- Miscarriage: The unintended end of a pregnancy at any stage comes as a shock. The invisibility of this kind of baby loss—a baby unseen by you, your spouse, your family—can make it especially difficult to bear. Intense feelings of guilt and anxiety often accompany miscarriage. Grief counseling can aid you in healing from this very real baby loss.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Often overlooked, baby loss due to ectopic pregnancy can be an emotionally devastating experience. Your decision to end a pregnancy—even one in which the life of the mother and baby are in peril—can bring about complex feelings of anger and guilt.
- Abortion: Even when elected, even after much time has passed, baby loss due to abortion is achingly felt. This often unacknowledged and largely hidden kind of baby loss isolates you with your grief. Abortion clinics do not offer perinatal loss support. You’re left alone to grapple with feelings of guilt and regret. Grief counseling can give you the support you need, even if your abortion took place long ago.
- Stillbirth: After the joy and anticipation of pregnancy, baby loss due to stillbirth devastates parents and family members and can have long lasting effects. Grief counseling offers grieving families therapy during their difficult bereavement.
- SIDS or Other Accidental Infant Death Sudden baby loss after an infant has been brought home from the hospital and welcomed into family life can be terribly traumatic for parents and family members alike. Bereavement counseling provides families therapy to cope with feelings of anger, guilt, and disbelief.
- Infant Death after Illness Baby loss following the emotional and mental stress of caring for a sick infant brings about a poignant sadness and emptiness. With grief counseling, you and your family can work toward healing.
- Adoption Baby loss is not limited to perinatal or infant death. The decision to make an adoption plan can result in extreme feelings of loss regarding the baby you’ll never know. Loss therapy can help you cope with your grief.
Healing From Baby Loss
Baby loss impacts mothers, fathers, and entire families. The sense of sadness and grief can be overwhelming, producing feelings of disbelief, anger, confusion, and guilt, and possibly leading to exhaustion, difficulties in sleeping, or changes in appetite. Recovery from baby loss is possible.