Unacknowledged pain after having a miscarriage at any stage in a pregnancy, does not simply just go away and for some, healing may be harder because the pain is the last link to what’s been lost. Either way, pain will beg to be seen and validated in different ways. For some, this may look like anxiety, anger or a desire to be alone. Others may experience sleeplessness, fatigue, mental exhaustion, extreme changes in dietary patterns. Listening to your body and practicing intuitive self-care helps you to exist in your skin after the traumatic journey of losing a baby.
Sharing your story of how you overcome your pain becomes part of someone else’s guide to survival. Creating conversation about how to heal, supports those around you in how to better understand how to respond when you share your trauma. Whatever the outcome you deserve support throughout the path to parenthood. Let’s take a closer look at how you can acknowledge the bumps on the road to parenthood
Throughout your journey after baby loss, it’s important to honour your progress. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Provide your body with the love and care it is telling you it needs. Honour the hard days. Embrace tomorrow.Tweet
#1: Connect with your intuition
Developing intuitive self-care skills is the first step towards acknowledging your unique grief experience, and ‘existing in your skin’ after losing a baby – at any stage in your pregnancy. It’s not necessarily about ‘fixing’ yourself, but honouring sadness by taking care of yourself in the best way you know at that moment. For some, it’s about finding ways to make things feel a little safer, comforting or tapping into a small amount of light.
Start by asking “How am I feeling right now physically, emotionally or mentally? Take a moment throughout each day to check in with your body. Perhaps you are tired and exhausted from waking too early, or perhaps you are sleeping, but wake tired and unrefreshed? Maybe you feel emotionally drained? Are you tearful? Or perhaps overwhelmed, anxious and angry?
What’s important is to acknowledge these feelings in the present moment. Take note of how you are feeling today – are these the same as those experienced last week? Do you need to explore support options to calm your nerves, support natural sleep patterns or lift your spirit and provide a much-needed energy boost if you are struggling?
Keeping a journal to track of how you managed these feelings and tapping into your self-care history, helps you decide what support you may need to access help throughout your journey.
#2 Practice self-compassion and self-care
Self-compassion and self-care include being kind, patient, and gentle with yourself, and making sure you get adequate sleep, eat nutritious foods, and move your body every day. Doing so will boost your resilience and help you through.
Therapeutically, there are several aspects to self-care, including grief mapping and accessing support for emotional health and physical wellbeing, but the most important underpinning message is to honour whatever it is you feel you need to acknowledge.
#3 Know Your Body, Nurture Your Spirit and Nourish Your Soul
Knowing your body sets the foundation for nurturing your spirit. It’s the first step towards building a better relationship with your body to reduce feelings of guilt, embarrassment and self-blame. In clinical practice, this is referred to as ‘holism’ which starts with self-care and proceeds to professional care such as therapeutic treatments for post trauma responses, anxiety or other health concerns.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to engage in self-care and here are some easy ways to get started:
- Take our well-being quiz to learn which self-care strategies may be especially helpful for you
- Join in on your Facebook Live sessions
- Join self-care programs, or work with a perinatal care provider or therapist who can help support your progress.
No matter which approach you choose, the goal is to figure out which self-care strategies work best for you, learn how to use these strategies, and implement them in your regular routine so you can boost your well-being after baby loss.
How to Tap into Your Intuition
- Begin a morning meditation and mindfulness practice.
- Maintain a regular journaling practice. Journaling is a wonderful way to tap you’re your intuition.
- Start the day with a few minutes of diaphragm breathing. Then, let go of any thoughts that enter your mind, and imagine them fading away
- Surround yourself with the healing power of nature
It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, after baby loss. Learning how to reduce stress and improve sleep are fundamental to staying healthy, trusting in your body and feeling empowered throughout your journey.
About the author: Narelle Stegehuis specialises in holistic perinatal care. Narelle primarily works with those struggling with pregnancy and infant loss, pregnancy after loss, perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety and postpartum body image concerns. She offers short-term and long-term holistic support and consultation services.