At least 1 in 10 women experience miscarriage during her life. Although pregnancy and infant loss still remains a tabou, it concerns much more families than we might think.
An estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide, translating to 44 pregnancy losses each minute.* Grieving and finding hope after pregnancy and infant loss is very challenging especially if it has to happen in silence and solitude. Although the baby is not here anymore, the postpartum mama is, and needs extra care and support.
How to care for a grieving postpartum mama? Find here below 6 ideas that everybody (family member, friend, doula) can provide. Don’t forget! Support can be needed weeks, months or even years after!
Ask if you can visit and when the time is convenient for the family, spend time with her. Just listen. Don’t try to figure out and put into words her feelings, don’t tell her your experience (or the neighbour’s, friend’s, etc) except if she’s asking for. Just listen. Offer her your presence so she can be truly heard.
Allowing her to express whatever she might feel, giving her time and space to talk or to be silent while still caring her and be there for her, is very important. She can feel secure and supported in her grieving which is a long, never-ending process.
Allow the mama to get plenty of rest
Offer your help with daily tasks, childcare or shop delivery. Ask what the family would need.
Cook some delicious homemade meal
You can prepare a meal or even a simple snack before arriving or at their place, depending on your relationship, availability and convenience. Cook from the heart and serve the meal so the mama wouldn’t need to get up. If you don’t have time to cook a meal, you can simply prepare a herbal tea, a golden milk or anything else that she would like. If she’s denying for a hot drink, bring some water next to her bed.
Giving her a hug, a massage or just a touch offers her the actual experience of not being alone. Even though you’re not a professional masseuse, you can simply touching and gently caressing her feet, hands or neck with warm oil. It will give her plenty of confort and warmth.
You can also offer her a massage or a ritual (like a bone closing or rebozo). Look for our trained postpartum doulas in your region in our directory.
Give her space for tears
Be okay with her crying. Put some kleenex close to her but don’t try to stop her tears. Give her time and space.
It’s okay to cry with her. But don’t put on her your feelings.
Her baby has gone, but her body is journeying through the forth trimester. Be conscious about her physical fragility. Don’t let her get out of bed too soon, lift up heavy weigh or working around the house all day long. She needs rest even though it can be difficult to accept help. Ask to her how she is doing, how she is feeling in her body and if she needs any help (to go to the pharmacy, call or look for information). Keep in mind that she could need a lactation consultant to deal with the breast milk production.
Wanna go further?
Learn from PSN Co-Founder and Board member Satya Kaur about Post Abortion Support!
*Source : “Miscarriage: worldwide reform of care is needed”, The Lancet, Vol. 397, Issue 10285, P1597, May 01, 2021. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00954-5/fulltext