Are you a mother with no children, miscarried before you were 8 months pregnant, or you lost a child shortly after delivery? This wasn’t your choice, and there is nothing wrong you did. There are several factors that contribute to fetal fatalities including pregnancy hormones, high blood pressure, kidney problems, umbilical cord accidents, and infective diseases among others. It is so sad to lose an innocent child. Mothers who experience this problem require a lot of support as they grief the loss of their babies due to unavoidable circumstances. They are faced with many challenges and lack the strength to admit it has actually happened to them.
What Causes the Death of Unborn Children?
Fetal fatalities occur due to a number of reasons including:
- Tobacco smoking
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Uterine anomaly
- Premature labor or delivery
- Placental insufficiency
- Imbalances in pregnancy hormones
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Health conditions like syphilis, Down syndrome, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, multiple pregnancies, sickle cell disease, etc.
Pregnancy and Mental Health
Most people think that pregnancy hormones are released to protect expectant women from mental illnesses and improve emotional well-being. However, recent studies indicate that about 20% of women experience mood or anxiety problems during the pregnancy and after the loss of a child. These symptoms can start when a woman is 8 weeks pregnant or may be a continuation of a previous history. Many women are faced with challenges on how to deal with their illnesses during pregnancy.
Coping as an Invincible Mother
A miscarriage usually occurs when a child dies in the womb before the 20th week during the gestation period. In reference to the American Pregnancy Association, about 10-25% of all recognized pregnancies end up in miscarriages within 3 months after conception. It is difficult to recognize the actual cause of death. Here are some ways through which you can grief the loss and begin the healing process:
- Accept the loss: It was not your wish that it happened, and there is nothing you could have done to help. You may find yourself in tears all the time. Anger may strike as you try to figure out why it happened to you. Some develop phobia when around expectant mothers.
- Speak with your partner: your partner could be grieving in a different way, but it worth to acknowledge the fact that he is also in grief. You might find your partner more irritable, angry, or extremely concerned about your health. Just understand your partner’s reactions and offer every support.
Rituals after Death
There is physical evidence that there was actually a child after a miscarriage. But there are no pictures to look at, gravesite to visit, and no gifts have been bought for your child because you were only 8 weeks pregnant. All you have been the ultrasound report. Coming up with tangible reminders of your child can be helpful. This can be done by:
- Give your baby a name
- Craft a special memorial site using flowers, plants, attractive rocks or running water.
- Come up with an online memorial
- Draft a letter for your unborn child
- Choose songs or poems to hark back your child
- Involve other family members
- Hold a funeral
- Find assistance from a counselor or support groups, including online and telephone
Surviving the Loss
Admitting the loss of your child before drawing a breath sounds completely unfair. It is natural to experience anger, sadness, shock and devastation. Acknowledge the grief by sharing the bad news with people who understand your feeling. However short that the life of your child might have been, engage in meaningful rituals and celebrations. If you find that the pain of losing your unborn child is overwhelming, seek assistance from your doctor or mental health professionals. Acknowledge that you can still have another child of your own some other time.
How to Help Grieving Families
Giving a hand to families grieving the loss of a child is most welcomed by the mourning parents. Depending on circumstances surrounding the death of a child, you can get an idea of what the parents may or may not need during the grieving period.
- Don’t shun the family even if the parents want to stay alone as they grief. Text, email or call to show that you are with them during the sad moment.
- Talk openly about the death of their child but be discrete when giving hope for the future.
The death of a child can occur due to many reasons. It’s normal for invisible mothers or parents to grief the loss of their child. Parents grieve differently when dealing with the death of their child. When giving support to a family after the loss of their child, always show sympathy and discretion. To help you and your baby stay healthy throughout pregnancy here are some pregnancy information about your mesmerizing journey, week by week, as the baby grow.