October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. This month recognizes honeys that have lost a child in pregnancy or infancy.
We are holding space for you on this day in remembrance of your babee. If you have experienced a PAIL loss, I welcome you to comment any words you would like to share to help another honey in grief below.
Although it's not a subject that we consistently see in our feeds everyday, it is important to let honeys know we see you and we are here to help if you are currently experiencing a pregnancy, stillbirth or infant loss.
Pregnancy loss is defined as
Postpartum or specifically bereavement doulas are trained support people that can help navigate the first few days to weeks after loss. I myself have taken PAIL training by Nneka Hall to support my honeys extensively should they have to endure such a painful experience. Support can be packing clothings or rooms, companion to and from doctor is medical prosecutes are involved, household tasks, errand running for prescriptions, help with cooking and possibly bathing a honey.
Hopefully, this post will give someone an idea of they may have a close loved one in pain and mourning the loss of their babee but not quite sure how to show up and support.
Many doulas are certified as full spectrum doulas with some organizations that have been trained in all stages of childbirth, from conception to reception including death.
Specifically, a bereavement doula supports the transition of a loved one.
Unfortunately, I have had the experience of supporting PAIL honeys and one thing I can recommend to NOT do is not to mention the child as if it never existed at all. Speak the names or names of those children and help the mothers and fathers to do so too.
Studies show many honeys feel
Immense isolation after loss.
"Many of the women experienced social isolation and did not receive the support they needed from partners, relatives, friends and health professionals. Sympathetic social support makes a vital contribution to the mourning process."
But to those who are nearby, physical service is the act of love needed. It can simply be given from anyone with the capacity and empathy to support a grieving mother.
In this post I hope to provide resources and activities that I have been trained to use and some just out of emoathy and compassion. They may give you an idea of how to just be there.
Mental health therapists are always recommended for parents to find healthy outlets and solutions to cope with loss. Although taking can be good, structured professional help can assist honeys with the overwhelming . Pregnancy loss creates a unique type of grief, and psychotherapists say more should be done to support those facing such pain.
Please view Shades of Blue Project
Just be there. I often find honeys need space to cry. Crying is therapeutic and a healthy release of emotions. If you're able to be there and not offer unsolicited advice, this is how you show up for a friend in need. A honey is already with intrusive thoughts of what happened and what could have been done. When they are ready to talk, they will.
Feet washing or a bonding ritual that both parents can participate in to remember their babee. Herbal Sitz baths to help relax an anxious mind and weary soul. Food can be a healing ritual too to help comfort a grieving parent. Warm soups and broths are essential comfort foods. Send family and friend a link to your mealtrain.com profile for family to send food for the day or week.
Honeys will need immediate lactation support after loss. Milk production still persists after loss and some honeys may choose to suppress or seek ongoing support to keep pumping milk to donate to NICU or medically fragile infants. An IBCLC or skilled lactation professional can support you to prevent engorgement after loss.
WOMB STEAMING/VAGINAL STEAMING
Again, the body still goes through postpartum recovery too after loss. Postpartum blood loss needs to be addressed as well to help keep a honeys womb healthy. Vaginal STeaming can help to aid in healing and cleansing the womb after immediate loss.
Case Studies Show that Vaginal Steaming After Miscarriage May Speed Up Recovery
Another option is to buy a scrapbook with all types of letters and stickers that she can attach clothing or items collected from the hospital. It's good to have something tangible moms can pick up and look back on when they feel ready.
A popular trend to memorialize babee artifacts are resin displays such as this TikTok video below
To learn more about PAIL advocacy, click here.