22 Apr 2013

Pregnancy Loss – Blog 22.4.13

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Dear friends,

Welcome to this week’s blog where I would like to broach a rather sensitive subject. Although many of my blogs talk about conception, pregnancy, birth, the feminine, parenting etc, I felt it was important to talk about the times when pregnancy doesn’t always go according to plan. You can also find out more in my book ‘The Art of Birth – for an easier Journey to Motherhood’ and try some of the creative exercises for healing. Here is an extract:

‘Pregnancy loss, especially miscarriage, affects many women and their partners (approximately 12% in the UK*) and is not an experience that is readily shared. Pregnancy loss can include, ‘failed in vitro fertilization, molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, loss in multiple-gestation pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth’ (Seftel L., 2006). Couples express how they don’t always know how to grieve because they are not sure if they have lost a group of cells, a foetus or a child. Some families find it helpful to give their baby foetus a burial, choose a name, and grieve the gap that is left in the family unit. Some women also remain in denial about how they feel about their miscarriage too until they are given permission to unlock their emotions. Women may feel there is something wrong with her body, there may also be guilt if she feels relieved and a myriad of emotions that are unique to her experience. All feelings are the truth for the individual. Nevertheless, you may be filled with a void that you are not sure how to express. I think whatever your feelings are they need to be validated, expressed and grieved as you wish, knowing that you are completely entitled to all your feelings. Society does not really talk about this subject or give it importance unless you have direct experience. It is really helpful to acknowledge your feelings, if you haven’t already, especially before your next pregnancy or birth.

Pregnancy loss is a legitimate loss albeit often an ‘invisible’ one. Grief work may be essential as this loss can evoke a variety of strong emotions such as immense guilt, depression, feeling out of control, paralysed, etc. The guilt can come from what we feel went wrong, or from the thought that our body was in some way dysfunctional. The depth of grief is incomparable. Pregnancy loss is often much worse than losing, for example, a living relative because there is a combination of the loss of something that has been longed for, with the feelings about how the woman’s body has somehow failed in its basic biological function to have a baby. These unhelpful feelings need to be released as soon as possible so that new feelings, such as gentleness, self-compassion, love, support, understanding, innocence and eventually peace, can flow in knowing that our body did the best it could.

There is also the question of different religious beliefs and how these regard an unborn child. I do not wish to pass any judgement on any belief system, whether the foetus is or is not a human being but suggest that you (and your partner) process your feelings in a way that suits you.’ You can find helpful creative exercises in my book ‘The Art of Birth – for an easier journey to Motherhood’ which will be coming out very soon.

Wishing you a gentle week and see you next Monday.

Warm wishes,
Alex xx

(*http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Miscarriage/Pages/Introduction.aspx)

Flower1a

Photograph by
Alex Florschutz

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