October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Roughly 20 per cent of pregnancies end in a loss and yet it is still the only loss that people are expected to grieve in silence about.
Jessica Zucker, a psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health, understands this pain all too well on both profession and personal levels. One thing she noticed after her own loss was that card stores are full of condolences for funerals, loss of parents, grand-parents, spouses, even pet losses but nothing for infant loss. In an effort to normalize infant loss grief she launched her own line of empathy cards specifically for women who’ve experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal deaths. She even has a card for women who are expecting their rainbow baby.
“When someone experiences a pregnancy loss, this is a loving way to express your care.”
“Acknowledging the spectrum of emotions that might be felt after a pregnancy loss, this card grants permission to do anything that feels right. ‘Call me morning, noon, or night’ drives home the point that you are supporting your loved one consistently.”
“This card is all about the things people frequently say after a pregnancy loss that sting rather than support.”
“This is a superb card for those who have experienced a miscarriage themselves to send to loved ones who are going through it. Loss is different for everyone.”
“Oftentimes people who experience miscarriage/pregnancy loss/stillbirth are terrified during their subsequent pregnancies. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss can be a very different journey than pregnancy prior to loss.”
Because each experience is so different and personal, when someone opens up to you about infant loss, sometimes the best thing you can say is “I love you. I’m here for you” and let them tell you what they need.