Posted on: October 19, 2020 | Doula
Recently a prominent celebrity couple experienced a second-trimester loss of their third child. While our deepest sympathies go out to them and their family, this post isn’t to capitalize on their loss.
This family chose to share parts of their experience via social media. While many offered supportive words, many also passed harsh criticism. A substantial number of people were very vocal that this was a private event. Only for the family’s eyes.
In our culture, there is still a terrible taboo that exists surrounding pregnancy and infant loss.
As a result, it is not easy to talk about pregnancy and infant loss. The loss of the future. Hope. Possibilities. These are tough topics to navigate. People don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. That’s understandable.
At the same time, these losses often come fast and hard for the families that experience them. Time doesn’t slow down. Things move quickly. Time is of the essence, options are limited, and as result, decisions need to be made quickly.
Many parents share that their experience with infant loss felt rushed.
It may still be a blur for them. Details are especially hard to recall. They couldn’t process what was happening in the moment. Precious details are far too often lost and unfortunately, left behind forever.
This family documenting their process allowed many others the opportunity to revisit their own. This can be an integral part of the grieving process. Moving in and out of grief and healing happens in one’s own time and on one’s own terms.
Images can be important as they allow families to integrate the experience into their reality. To find strength in a captured moment. Pictures not only allow them to remember their baby and their precious features but also provides them an opportunity to see their baby, just one more time.
Sharing the images of infant loss also helps to normalize loss; to normalize grief.
As birth professionals it is essential that we equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills to support families through loss. It’s not a matter of if we will have a client experience loss, it’s a matter of when.
If seeing families share their experience of loss is uncomfortable or challenging for you. Know that you are not alone. Learning to sit with families in their grief is a process.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Because this is such a tough topic for many birth professionals, we have developed the following resources to help birth professionals navigate loss with their clients.