Coping with Infant and Pregnancy Loss
Pregnancy loss is a tragedy that most couples bear in silence for many different reasons. At any stage of pregnancy, it can be extremely difficult to grieve and cope with loss, but it’s important to know that there are resources available that can help. Here’s what to know about pregnancy and infant loss and what to do when it affects your family.
How common is pregnancy and infant loss?
According to estimates by the March of Dimes, as many as half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation) which includes women who don’t know they’re pregnant. For women who do know they’re pregnant, about 10 to 15 percent end in miscarriage. Stillbirth generally refers to pregnancy loss after 20 weeks gestation, and this occurs in about 1 in 100 pregnancies according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the terms ‘stillbirth’ and ‘infant loss’ sometimes overlap, with the Centers for Disease Control stating that infant mortality occurred in about 22,300 cases in 2017.
How should I take care of myself after pregnancy and infant loss?
It’s important to take care of your body and your emotional health after losing a child or pregnancy. It’s most important to have open communication with your maternal fetal medicine specialist about what your body goes through so they can make sure you don’t experience any complications. Also, you should make sure to get plenty of rest on a regular schedule and avoid foods and drinks that have caffeine in them. You should also avoid alcohol since this can exacerbate your emotional state and make your feelings of grief worse. Getting some exercise and activity every day can help your physical and mental health, as well as eating a well-rounded diet with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and a moderate amount of sweets.
What resources do I have for pregnancy and infant loss?
It’s important to know that there are many different resources that can help you and your partner after you lose your baby. Although your family and close friends can be a great support network, you should also rely on your maternal fetal medicine specialist to guide you through the recovery process. If you’re experiencing feelings of sadness or depression, you should be sure to speak with them about treatment. In many cases, a grief counselor or social worker can help you through the process of grieving and navigating your emotional wellbeing afterward. Finally, your maternal fetal medicine specialist can recommend support groups either online or in-person so you can share your story and meet other families who have also lost a baby.
Schedule an Appointment
Our award-winning team is here to help. To learn more about your options and meet with our maternal fetal medicine specialists about high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy loss, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!