1 in 4 women will experience a pregnancy or infant loss. Those are the numbers but they don’t really quantify the level of grief that women face silently every day around the world. The loss of a child no matter the gestation or age is carried by women for their entire lives. As birth professionals we need to be equipped to provide support for these women or refer them to the appropriate support networks. In addition we need to learn ways to cope with vicarious trauma so that we can serve from a place of strength and compassion.
As a woman who has both observed loss and experienced loss myself these are the resources I recommend.
- Still Birthday: really the ultimate resource regarding pregnancy loss for both parents and birth professionals. Still Birthday offers training and certification for bereavement doulas.
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: provides photography services for stillbirth and infant loss.
- Faces of Loss: a place to share your story and connect with others who have survived loss.
- Compassionate Friends: an organization that provides in person support groups for bereaved parents.
- Loss Doulas International: certifies doulas to support during miscarriage or stillbirth and afterwards.
- Midwives Coping With Loss and Grief: a book for midwives about miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
- Still Standing Magazine: a resource for parents.
- Mending Invisible Wings: a creative workbook for those working through pregnancy loss. Also recommended for birth professionals dealing with vicarious grief.
- SHARE Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support: offers support groups and resources for families surviving a loss.
- The Miss Foundation: counseling, advocacy, research and education for grieving families.