It’s “common,” but unless you’ve been through it, or held the hand of someone close to you who has walked down the path of perinatal grief, it’s hard or darn-near impossible to put yourself in their shoes.
I am a big fan of breaking the silence of perinatal loss and hope that one day we can all come together and support each other, without being told to “get over it.” On the Facebook page for Unspoken Grief (a site dedicated to breaking that silence and increasing the support), I asked the community what they wished more people knew about miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death when it came to grieving. Many answered and many echoed what others were saying. Reading the answers, I personally found myself nodding my head. There is no better advice or tips than ones that came from someone personally touched by this exeprience.
Here are 7 things we want you to know about miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and perinatal grief:
— “That you don’t get over it! Talk about things like why milk may come in, PND, PTSD , and set up on-going support for family, and you shouldnt have to be hiding away in hospital when you have your little angel.” — Miriam
— “Regardless of how many other children you have, the pain of losing one of your pregnancies is still real. And when you grieve, it doesn’t mean you love your other children less.” — Amber
— “That losing a pet is not, never has been, and never will be the same as losing a child. Period.” — Ruth
— “Please stop trying to justify it. A lot of people say that early miscarriage are always caused by chromosome abnormalities, but that is not ALWAYS true! Stop telling me it’s better off because something was wrong with my baby. Some miscarriages have other causes.” — Amanda
— “I wish people wouldn’t minimize the loss of a child at any stage, any cause. Things like “at least you have more children” or “you will have more” are NOT comforting. These are lost children, not goldfish! No one can line up child loss parents and “rate” who is suffering more than another because of the circumstances of the loss. All of the parents are suffering deeply from a deeply horrendous loss.” — Jennifer
— “That saying ‘You can always try again!’, or ‘Don’t worry, you’ll have a baby!’ are not positive comments, especially when you know that person has had multiple losses.” — Anna
— “Patience and understanding. Not everyone grieves the same way or in the same time frame. Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to hurt.” — Beth
:: What is something you wish more people knew about miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or perinatal grief? A piece of advice, a tip, fact or myth-bust? ::
To see even more advice from the community on what we wish more people knew – check out Unspoken Grief
Photo credit: adapted from allison.hare/ Flickr