Support Available for Miscarriage, Bereavement and Loss

  • Print

From support groups and organizations to websites dedicated to the loss of a baby, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death, here are some folks who can help you through these difficult times.

stones-937659 640

Our members have pointed us to: 

1. The National Council of Jewish Women Pregnancy Loss Support Program (PLSP Group). This is a support program that offers both counseling by phone and offers a group for couples who have experienced loss. It is facilitated by other parents who have lost babies who understand the shock and complications and grief in a way that only one who has had this loss can. They say that "we wish so much that we didn't have a reason to know each other, yet we are thankful for having met the group of people that saved us." At the very least, they have great resources on the site. Contact: (212) 687-5030 ext. 28. They have a very thorough document online that talks about the journey through grief, including rituals that honor your baby, helping other children cope with the loss, dealing with unhelpful people, and more. 

2. The Compassionate Friends Infant and Toddler Loss Facebook Group. From the page: "Together we support each other, better understand our grief, and learn coping skills when faced with inappropriate comments from others. Together, we remember our loved ones for the love, joy and memories held for them." (We've heard great things about this group from our members.)

3. Seleni Institute. This organization is dedicated to care and information for pregnancy and loss support. It offers in-person group sessions for pregnancy and stillborn loss. It also offers counseling for anxiety and depression centered around pregnancy. The Seleni Institute put together this article about how to get the support you need after a pregnancy loss.

4.  Motherhood Center.  The Motherhood Center recognizes that becoming a mom isn't always easy. Sometimes there can be moments of joy, but there can also be moments when you feel anxious or sad. If you have these feelings sometimes or a lot of the time, you are not alone, it's not your fault, and you will feel better with the right help. The Motherhood Center provides supportive services for new and expecting moms, including a range of treatment options for women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs.)  Whether you are looking for a support group for new mothers, lactation consultation, individual therapy or more intensive services to help you feel better, The Motherhood Center offers something to every woman making the transition to parenthood.  Staffed by experienced professionals, they take an interdisciplinary approach to tackling pre- and post-natal care, PMADs, and everything in between.

5.  Mt. Sinai Bereavement Services.  Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan offers a free, monthly support group

6. Modern Loss 

7. Glow In The Woods. It is a site for baby-loss moms (that's the language) and dads (but mostly moms). There is information, but also other women who have just been through the same heartbreaking experience posting and supporting each other: Go to For One and All when on the site under discussion boards. It is a compassionate and comforting community. 

8. Ending a Wanted Pregnancy. "The website Ending a Wanted Pregnancy (endingawantedpregnancy.com) provides testimonials and advice for those who have had to face hard decisions about continuing a pregnancy.  They also have a "secret" Facebook group for parents that you can sign up for through the site.  It has been an invaluable resource for me and others in this community, so I wanted to share it."

9. Reconceiving Loss. This site offers users a range of tools for coping with pregnancy loss. Current specific resources include yoga videos, a writing tutorial and customized grief/loss primer, a guide to memorial self-portraiture, nutrition, health, music sharing and a section for men to speak about loss.

10. Hope After Loss

11.   American Psychological Association

12.   American Pregnancy Association  

13.  Daily Strength. This site seems to offer online support from other co-members, as well as expert advice and an additional resources section.

14.   First Candle. Peer-to-peer online support groups that are a safe and supportive place for individuals and their families to share information and experiences surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. 

15.  The MISS Foundation. The MISS Foundation provides Family Support Packets, which are sent by email, with books, brochures, and other support information for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.

16. Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss 

17, Mending Hearts after Loss

18.  Still Mothers. Living Childless After Loss.  For all of the mothers who feel lost and left behind in a community of families, because their only child(ren) has died.

19. Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. Putting a face on miscarriage, still birth, and infant loss. 

20. Postpartum Support International. Live weekly phone sessions. 

21. MSIL Group. Miscarriages, Still Births, and Infant Death Support Group via BabyCenter.com.

22. #IHadAMiscarriage. An Instagram account by Dr. Jessica Zucker, local therapist.

23. Pregnancy After Loss Support: Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and community support resource for women experiencing the confusing and conflicting emotions of grief mixed with joy during the journey through pregnancy after loss. PALS hosts local meetup support events once a month in Brooklyn, as well as has private groups on Facebook where you can connect with other loss mothers.

24. Star Legacy Foundation: The Star Legacy Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is dedicated to reducing the number of stillbirths and providing support to families who endure stillbirth loss. They provide (at no cost) – family support materials and companion services to bereaved families such as peer-to-peer mentoring for parents and families who have experienced a stillbirth or other loss, including immediate post-loss phone or in-person support to help guide grieving families, dedicated online video-chat support groups for perinatal bereavement, pregnancy/parenting after loss, and grandparents/extended family (HIPAA-compliant), and 24/7 support through a Facebook group (www.facebook.com/NYMetroStarLegacyFoundation) and professionally-staffed answering service (612-868-2767).

 

In Special Recognition of Fathers/Partners. It's important to acknowledge that loss impacts dads/partners as well. Many dads/partners suppress their own feelings of loss to console their partners. Also, the attention is most often focused on the mom and her feelings and grieving process. We need to remember the dads/partners as well.

Resources for Grieving Dads, Bereaved Fathers of Infant & Child Loss

Dads feel the heartbreak of miscarriage too
We need to break the silence around men and miscarriage so fathers do not feel guilty for showing their grief.

Fathers suffer from pregnancy loss and still births, too

Dealing With Miscarriage as a Father (Coping as a couple)

Miscarriages and Expectant Fathers—How Pregnancy Loss Affects Men

 

Ways to Commemorate a Loss

--Light a candle
--Go for walk in Prospect Park or Green-wood Cemetery
--Wear a special piece of clothing or jewelry that reminds you of your baby (Etsy has lots of special gifts for miscarriage loss)
--Share your loss with a friend
--Plant a tree at Prospect Park (they will plant a sapling for you for $75)
--Write a poem, letter, or story about your baby
--Create some artwork (some people get a small tattoo)
--Meditate, pray, or sit quietly in a place that feels safe and welcoming.
--Make a donation to an organization of your choice in honor of your child
-October 15th National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: Honor your child by joining a local walk, or light a candle at 8pm EST
-Purchase a Star For Your Baby
-Connect with other loss parents through social media in private loss groups (when/if you are ready)
-Write your baby's name (on a paper, in art, or even in the sand)
-Say your baby's name
-Designate an area in your home for pictures and keepsakes
-Attend a loss retreat to connect with your baby (Return To Zero)

 

Do you have a friend who had a miscarriage?  Here are some resources to help:

Pregnancy Loss Etiqiuette - what to do, and what NOT to do

 

Other reading from around the web:

Why these moms decided to share their pregnancy losses on social media - via Parents Today

Mizuko Kuyo: Japan’s Powerful Pregnancy Loss Ritual

Grieving a Miscarriage: An Illustrated Discussion - via The New York Times

The Japanese Art of Grieving a Miscarriage - via The New York Times

Motherlode’s “Just an Ordinary Miscarriage” last week made me realize that helping us all be mindful of miscarriage can be helpful to our parenting community. As the article says: “It’s not an easy topic, or one that slips gracefully into casual conversation, but every time we name it, we add to the growing sense of awareness that not every pregnancy ends in a joyful birth, and increase our understanding of our own biology and limitations.”

People Have Misconceptions About Miscarriage, And That Can Hurt
Excerpts from the article:

  • "Between 15 and 20 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, defined as a pregnancy loss earlier than 20 weeks of gestation. (Pregnancy loss after that point is called a stillbirth.)”
  • “Over and over again, we heard a wish that there was more private and public discussion of miscarriage.”
  • “One person who recently suffered a miscarriage summed it up: "While I'm definitely still healing emotionally, I would be happy to talk more about it. So many people grieve silently, but I've found that talking really helps the most."”

 Podcasts:

Managing Miscarriage

Mamamia - Love, Loss and Empty Arms

Sisters in Loss

Life After Miscarriage

What's Your Grief

Grief Gratitude & Greatness

Grief Out Loud