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Self-Care When Coping With Pregnancy and Infant Loss—From a Grief Expert

Self-Care When Coping With Pregnancy and Infant Loss—From a Grief Expert

Experiencing a loss is devastating & isolating. We brought in a therapist and healing specialist to help coping with pregnancy & infant loss.

Written By
Dr. Kiley Hanish

Dr. Kiley Hanish

October 7, 2021

We are so sorry that you have endured a loss on your journey to parenthood. The loss of a pregnancy or an infant is devastating and traumatic. The path of grieving after pregnancy and infant loss is individual, personal, and hardly simple. There is no right way to walk this journey. There is no timeline to your grief, and it’s not a linear process. However, when you’re ready, there are small steps you can take to help you cope with pregnancy and infant loss.

Please know that your physiological and psychological responses are real and valid. They are a normal result of the deep pain of grief, and these symptoms may wax and wane over time.

It’s essential that we care for ourselves. We can’t navigate life after loss without support and radical self-care.

3 Tips for Self-Care When Coping With Pregnancy & Infant Loss

1. Tend to your body

    • Sleep. Find a way to protect your sleep, and if you are not sleeping, speak to your medical provider. (Find an entire collection of sleep meditations in Expectful’s free healing library. Don’t have the app yet? Download here.)
    • Exercise. While it can be so difficult to move, even a walk with a loved one or stretching at home can help release tension.
    • Nutrition. Be sure you are getting proper nutrition; sometimes a solid meal can help break up mental fog.

2. Find someone you can talk to

3. Set boundaries

    • Learn to listen to your body and intuition and use it as a guide.
    • Saying “no” is okay. Often it means you are saying “yes” to yourself. You’re not going to be feeling up to doing what you did in the past, at least not in the immediate time after loss. And that’s okay. (Listen to the It’s Ok to Not Feel Okay meditation on the Expectful app for a deeper reflection on this principle.)
    • Give yourself permission to leave a situation that is uncomfortable. Always have an “exit strategy.”
    • Limit social media, as it can be difficult to see others depict the “ideal” when life is uncertain.

Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is crucial to processing your grief and integrating healing into your life. We need to tend to and settle our nervous systems in a way that feels supportive to us in order to continue the coping with pregnancy and infant loss process.

Slowly incorporate aspects of self-care into your life. You are creating a toolbox of things that make you feel grounded, safe, and secure. These are not only important for the immediate days and weeks of your loss, but also in the months and years. Tending to your grief and healing is a lifelong process.

Want to read more about Dr. Kiley Hanish's Non-Profit Organization, Return to Zero: H.O.P.E? Click Here

Dr. Kiley Hanish
Dr. Kiley Hanish