There is no greater tragedy for a parent than losing a child. The loss of a baby can have a big impact on a family. The loss of a pregnancy and an infant is a painful experience that no one is prepared for. During this time one may be experiencing a variety of emotions and reactions. A loss such as this can be difficult to understand or control. The effect of the death of a baby before or after birth can be overwhelming and can have lifelong repercussions on the wellbeing of the family. Experiencing a loss such as this may make trying to conceive again difficult. Achieving pregnancy after a loss may be nerve wracking. Parents that are trying to conceive again after a loss may want to seek out a support group to help with this process.
Parent support groups have grown over the last decade. There are now support groups available that offer a compassionate environment to allow parents and families to work through the grieving process and to heal. These groups are designed to help support and provide sensitivity to families who have suffered a previous loss, as they are working towards a new pregnancy, or while they are learning to manage the feelings of loss during a new pregnancy.
Types of Support Available
There are many different types of support groups that exist for pregnancy and infant loss. During a time period such as this, it is important for parents to be supported and able to heal. Many groups also offer support to the rest of the family to help the grieving and healing process. Some support groups are based off of peer support, this could range from people who may not hold a similar experience but are there to listen and help, to paraprofessionals that are trained to offer support for grief and loss. These groups are available in many formats. There are groups that are strictly online support, phone hotlines to call, or even in person meetings.
- Pregnancy after Loss Support (PALS). PALS offers an entire list of resources for parents who are trying to conceive and become pregnant after a loss. Their website provides a list of both online and in person resources for support. This list breaks down support groups offered throughout each state in the United States, as well as Canada and Australia. Each group named throughout the list has a link provided and the times and locations for when the group meets. PALS also provides private support groups for pregnancy after loss support. These groups are broken down by thirteen different categories. The categories range from trying to conceive after a loss, parenting after a loss for dads, pregnancy after loss during first/second/third trimester, pregnancy after infertility and loss, etc.
- HOAG Health Alliance. If you live in the Newport Beach area, the HOAG Health Alliance offers classes twice a month on how to cope and grieve with infant loss and pregnancy after a loss.
- Healing Hearts. Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort provides an entire list of resources available. These resources range from Facebook Community Groups to support websites and financial help after a loss. Healing Hearts has organized this page so that it can be easier to find a support group that fits your individual needs or experience. They offer many options for grief websites and healing resources.
- Share Pregnancy and Loss Support. Share provides many different resources throughout their website. They have resources for parents, grandparents, children, and friends that may be grieving alongside of pregnancy or infant loss. They have over 75 chapters, throughout the United States for support groups. This link provides a list of the chapters available by state. Alongside of the support groups that meet in person, they also offer online support at certain times throughout the month.
- Pregnancy Loss Directory. The Pregnancy Loss Directory offers a list of support groups called Silent Sorrow, which is a professionally led support group for perinatal & infant loss. These groups are both formal support groups or support organizations. This website provides a list of groups available throughout the United States, broken down by state.
- Postpartum Support International. Postpartum Support International provides a list of resources for those who have suffered from pregnancy and postpartum loss. The links range from different support websites to hotlines.
- American Pregnancy Association. The American Pregnancy Association provides a resource that allows you to search for guidance and grief counselors that may be within your area.
These are just some of the resources available for those going through a pregnancy or infant loss and trying to conceive again. There are many different groups available for support and help during this emotional and hard process. It is important to seek help and support if you are struggling during this time period. It could range from reaching out to those close to you for support, comfort and understanding, or seeking counseling to help both you and your partner.