Pregnancy loss: 'You are brave and you are not alone'

Photo: Thursday October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss day
Photo: Thursday October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss day Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A lot has been written in recent weeks about Chrissy Teigen's heartbreaking post about losing her baby.

It was raw and emotional, and something so many of us could relate to.

The star has been praised for her bravery in sharing such a personal and vulnerable moment, and no doubt making other women and couples experiencing the same thing feel that little bit less alone.

Thursday October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss day, and as you're scrolling through your Instagram feed, it's likely you'll see women you know reflecting on their own experiences.

They're all brave for sharing. But the women and couples who keep such heartbreaking events to themselves are brave too.

It's something that can be difficult to talk about, and as a result, difficult for anyone who hasn't experienced it to understand what it must be like.

For many, it's not the same thing as losing a living breathing child you have come to know and love - but it's losing everything you hoped and imagined that child to be.

It turns the joy and excitement of that positive pregnancy test - and all the thoughts you have had about what that baby might look like, their name and personality - upside down.

It makes you wonder if it will ever happen for you, and what life will be like if it doesn't.

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A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

And it means that if you are lucky enough to get that positive test again, you can't relax or believe it's real until you are holding that baby in your arms.

And it probably means a million other things to a million other people because no experience is the same for everyone.

I have no doubt that the further you are down the pregnancy road, the more traumatic it can be. Grief can be a difficult thing to compare. 

So how do you talk to someone going through it?

Firstly - ask them if they want to talk about it. Not everyone will. Some will want their own space and to deal with it in their own way. Others might want a distraction and to talk about or do something fun.

Some want to share their experiences on social media. Others prefer to keep it to themselves.

Sometimes a simple, "I'm so sorry, what do you need?" is the best response.

Don't say, "you can always try again" or "it wasn't meant to be" or "at least you know you can get pregnant" - for many, that will feel dismissive of the bond they've already formed - whether you're talking about a 5-week embryo, or a foetus they've been carrying for many months. 

WE SEE YOU BECAUSE WE ARE YOU💛 Today is International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Rememberance Day. 1 in 4 pregnancies...

Posted by The Pink Elephants Support Network on  Wednesday, 14 October 2020

There's no need to hide your own pregnancy or never speak about your children. But consider your audience - perhaps this is not the friend to offload on with complaints about morning sickness or lack of sleep or difficult children. 

For a long time, miscarriage has been something whispered about but not widely discussed. That's now changing - thanks in large part to celebrities like Chrissy Teigen showing the rest of us that it can and does happen to anyone.

So talk about it if you want to. Or keep it to yourself. But remember - you're not alone, and you're brave too. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Samantha Rowe (@memoriesofanangel) on

If you need immediate help please call Lifeline on 131114

If you or someone you know has suffered a pregnancy loss please contact: 

Pink Elephants Support Network pinkelephants.org.au
SANDS sands.org.au 
Bears of Hope bearsofhope.org.au
Stillbirth Foundation stillbirthfoundation.org.au