By Mercedes Leguizamon
One of the most difficult things to deal with as a parent is the loss of either a pregnancy or an infant. In times where parents do not know where to turn or even what kind of help they really need, it is important to know what resources are available to you to help you through this pain.
According to Postpartum Progress, approximately 15–20 percent of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage, and in the US, approximately 11,300 infants die within 24 hours of their birth each year. If you have lost a child, please remember, you are not alone.
There are many ways that you can get through the feelings of sorrow, anger or even guilt after you lose a child. The March of Dimes recommends the following to help parents deal with grief after the loss of an infant.
Try walking a little bit every day or going to the gym. It is important to also make sure that you are eating healthy and never skipping meals, as this can affect not only your physical well-being, but may also result in more emotional distress.
Try to stick to your current schedule
It is easy to get off schedule, but try and focus on going to bed, waking up, or even making dinner at the same times that you used to before. It is important to maintain your schedule and keep yourself healthy.
Stay away from any drugs, alcohol or cigarettes
Many people see these as a good stress relievers, but in reality, they can become a big problem if they are abused. It is also a good idea to stay away from caffeine products, such as coffee or sodas, as they can keep you up before bed and throw you off schedule.
Try not to make big changes in your life
Moving away may seem like a good option to start fresh, but it will not necessarily help alleviate your grief. Quitting your job or throwing out all of the baby room furniture as soon as possible may not help as much as you think either. Every person is different when it comes to dealing with sadness and anger, but making big changes in your life is not always the best solution.
Do not be afraid to talk
Talk to your partner, your friends and your health care provider. Talk to a therapist or a support group. Talk to anyone who can help you understand the situation and offer you endless support and love through this difficult time.
Looking for a support group? Here are a few located right here in Gainesville.
- Pregnancy and Child Loss Support Group at Postpartum Wellness & Family Counseling
- The Compassionate Friends Gainesville Chapter at Haven Hospice