Losing an infant can be an extremely traumatic and difficult period. The sense of grief can be overwhelming, and so it is common for it to continue to have an impact on your life for an extended period of time. It also often comes as a shock, which can make it harder to understand, accept, and process the loss.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, which is the loss of a child’s life prior to birth, it is also possible that you hadn’t told many people about it. The acknowledgement and memories that are missing for your child’s life can add to the grief. Some people also experience mixed emotions, particularly if the pregnancy was unplanned or if you were unaware of it prior to the miscarriage. The loss of a child in their first few years of life is one of the most devastating outcomes a parent can face, leaving you feeling empty and unsure of how to move on.
You do not have to work through this alone. It can help to seek the support of a professional to work through the emotions that you are experiencing. Everybody copes with loss in different ways, and so you may have your own wishes or needs during this process. You may be wanting acknowledgement and acceptance of the loss that has occurred, and ways to continue to honour the life of your child. You may be wanting to prevent the breakdown in your relationship, or find ways to help your partner deal with it better. Alternatively you may be wanting assistance to move on yourself, and find love and happiness back in your life. You may also be wanting support to have a new child after previously losing an infant.
Whatever you need, there are VCPS practitioners who are experienced in supporting people who have experienced the loss of an infant. They can help you build the strength to support yourself through this. Some specific ways that a practitioner can assist include:
- Working through any emotions that have been bottled up, and learning to express these in a healthy and helpful way
- Finding a way to be able to discuss or describe the news to others, including to other family members or children
- Learning how to cope with the grief and sadness of the loss, while gradually finding the strength to continue on with your daily responsibilities and activities
- Building communication and support strategies to help to work through this with your partner and improve your relationship