In 1988, US President Ronald Reagan declared October a month to support people who end up losing their infants or unborn children in miscarriages. It is still celebrated today as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month(PILA). This event aims to help ease the grief of parents in this situation, providing support and spreading awareness regarding the same. It also involves promoting awareness to improve prevention and care for the same. To better understand the significance of celebrating PILA, let’s look at how pregnancy impacts people.
How Does Pregnancy Impact Expecting Couples And Mothers?
From the moment of hearing that they’re pregnant, expecting parents might feel a sense of anticipation, excitement, shock, and nervousness. Becoming a mother or a father is one of the most significant events in someone’s life. During pregnancy, couples may go through relationship strife, conflicting emotions, or a sense of nervous excitement about how life is going to be.
For many, the financial concerns of having a child can be overwhelming or burdening. While for others who have been trying to start a family, finally having their child can feel like a blessing.
Mothers are affected not just mentally but also physically. During the first trimester(one of 3 quarters of pregnancy is divided), women face bodily discomfort or changes as the fetus starts growing and paves the way to further stages of pregnancy.
They also experience emotions like anxiety, stress, joy, etc., intensely and are prone to significant mood swings. In the last trimester, many women also report nesting syndrome. This tendency, common to birds, refers to creating an environment for the upcoming offspring. All these activities, emotions, hormones, and physiological changes involve mothers with their children, even before birth. Hence, miscarriages and infant loss impact mothers much more profoundly.
Read more: How mental health affects family relationships
How To Cope With Losing A Child?
-Place your trust in support groups: Support groups are gatherings of like-minded people going through the same thing as you are. They might also include people who have grown and healed from the pain, giving you insight and confidence to do the same.
-Confide in friends and loved ones: Friends and loved ones play a significant role in postnatal(after childbirth) care. It’s not surprising, then, that your loved ones provide the best support while grieving child loss. Appreciate their sentiments, show them that you’re grateful, and tell them if you need time alone.
-Opt for therapy: Losing a child is a traumatic event that naturally takes time to recover from. If the situation overwhelms you or your partner, it is best to consider therapy. Choose a therapist who has experience treating your condition and understands what you’re going through. You can also employ therapists or take treatment through online platforms.
Read more: Affordable care online therapy platforms
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month focuses on parents going through the heartbreak of losing their infant or unborn child. They need space, time, and self-care to recover and better care for themselves. Having multiple miscarriages can also make women anxious about whether they can have a baby or not.
Remember that there’s no right way to feel in this situation. Focus on how your partner is affected and try to be there for each other through the process. While you may be going through intense emotions, you(and your partner) do not want to forget proper self-care. Here’s a list of best self-care practices to stay healthy in trying times.
To learn more about self-care, emotional regulation, or trauma, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.