Pregnancy and infant loss series
The death of our first baby was the most significant loss of our lives. Nothing else has compared to that loss for us.
I found a woman who had had a loss similar to mine 10 years earlier. That’s what I needed to give me a little bit of hope: knowing that I wasn’t the only person that had ever felt this way and talking to someone who had gone through it and survived.
This series of modules explores some of the unique aspects of the grief you may experience after a pregnancy and early infant loss including your identity as a parent; the possibility of others not acknowledging your grief; and feelings of guilt, blame, and social isolation. You will also identify other circumstances around your pregnancy that may impact your decision to either terminate or continue the pregnancy with a life-limiting diagnosis; twin or multiple losses; and recurring losses.
About this resource: Pregnancy and infant loss
No matter how, where, or when pregnancy or infant loss occurs, it is significant. It is normal for you to experience emotional pain, physical pain, or both as you grieve the loss of your baby. You may also be grieving:
- The loss of your role as a parent.
- The loss of hopes and dreams that you held for your child.
- The impact of the loss on important people in your life (e.g., your partner or spouse, your parents and/or in-laws, or your other children).
These layers of loss and grief can be a significant weight to carry. Your grief will share some common elements with that of others while also being unique to you.
We recommend that you review the nine Grief Basics modules found on our MyGrief.ca site:
As you read through this information…
You might recognize your experiences or find that some of them aren’t reflected here. If there is something you believe should be added, please tell us about it in the survey at the end.
You may have strong emotions or feel uncomfortable as you read this information. It’s okay to step away from it for a while, or it might help to talk with a trusted family member or friend. We encourage you to revisit this resource whenever you need, as what you find helpful might change over time. You may also find that you can take in only so much information at once.
You might be reading this shortly after your child’s death, or sometime down the road. Canadian Virtual Hospice provides online Discussion Forums where you can connect with others who may have experienced similar losses. You can also ask a confidential question to our healthcare team at Ask a Professional. You will receive a written response within three business days (not including Canadian statutory holidays).
Contributors and partners
We are thankful to those who gave their time to develop this series of modules. Contributors and partners are listed in the module summary of the last module in the series (Module 19 - Supporting the family).