Chapter 2: Grief after pregnancy or infant loss

Social isolation

The grief expert says
Carol speaks about how building a narrative, celebrating, and talking about one's child can help in the interaction with others. (3:22)Video transcript

We have a close, amazing family, who live nearby, and I also have wonderful friends. But they haven’t been through this... It's so isolating. I feel like the odd one out.

I saw how much pain they were in, and I really wanted to help but I didn’t know what to do or say. So I said nothing, but I think that may have been worse. They must have been heartbroken.

If your family or friends do not recognize or understand the extent of your grief, you are likely to feel very alone. You may even wonder if there is something wrong with you for feeling the way that you do. When you feel conflicted about your experience and what you are hearing from others, you may have thoughts such as, “If everyone thinks I should feel better, why don’t I?” Click on the arrows to see some examples of additional thoughts.

What may help

Acknowledge that your grief is a normal and healthy response to this very difficult thing that has happened to you, regardless of spiritual beliefs; the age of your baby who has died; whether or not you have other children; or whether the pregnancy was planned or unplanned.

Reach out for help from support groups or professional counsellors if you’re not getting the support that you need, or if you are dealing with difficult or conflicting feelings.

Keep in mind that some people may not understand your grief or be able to support you. Consider which people to ask for support and which to “take a break from,” even for a short while. 

Remember that just because someone else doesn’t understand your grief, it doesn’t make it less real.