Perinatal grief: what all women suffer

The perinatal grief is that which arises from the death of the baby before or a few days after birth. It is an intense pain that takes the woman, her partner, and the family by surprise.

The pregnant woman has made up her mind about the baby that is coming, she has been involved with the process and she wants the day to be a mother. However, for various reasons, the baby dies leaving everyone in dismay.

The woman, her partner, and her family must go through perinatal grief. Like all loss of a loved one, it leaves a deep emotional imprint, with the aggravating circumstance that parents and other close relatives did not get to know the baby.

When pregnancy adds up to a sad statistic

Perinatal grief

The confirmation of a desired pregnancy is a burst of happiness. Almost inevitably begins an overflow of emotions, desires, and expectations. However, it is necessary to overcome the first trimester to be sure that the pregnancy passes without major risks.

Miscarriages are those that occur before week 12 or 13 of gestation. Although they cause intense emotional distress in women, they are not technically considered perinatal dueling.

This duel is called perinatal because it is derived from the death of the baby in the perinatal period. This is the one that runs from the 22nd week of gestation to one week after birth.

The perinatal duel is lived in silence

To the intense pain that means to lose the child that was expected with so much yearning, the fact adds that the perinatal duel is usually not recognized by the social and work environments of the parents. What makes the acceptance and healing process even more complex and slow.

Perinatal grief

There are several factors that can intensify the emotional discomfort felt by the woman who has lost her baby:

  • Spontaneous abortions or previous perinatal deaths that have not been overcome.
  • The time it took to achieve the conception of the baby.
  • The age of the woman that over time prints extra pressure at conception.
  • The loss of multiple pregnancies.
  • The feelings of attachment that may have arisen, especially if the child was born.
  • The lack of social Medical insurance and hospital centers do not always provide conditions to address these cases.
  • The absence of the father who did not commit to the pregnancy.
  • The inability to share experiences and memories with the family or the social environment, to name the baby or to say goodbye.

Phases of perinatal grief

Perinatal grief can last for days, weeks, months or even years. Everything will depend on the woman’s temperament and the conditions surrounding the death of the baby. You may also learn what is grief and what are the stages of pain?

Like any duel, it consists of several phases or stages.

Negation phase

In a stage where it is hard to believe that perinatal death has occurred. The woman’s mind was not prepared to receive such shocking news.

This state of shock and disbelief is the mechanism of the mind to slowly digest the overwhelming reality.

Phase of anger

Perinatal grief

It appears when the mother feels guilt for what happened. Feel anger against herself, against the couple, against the doctors who were in contact with her baby.

If the woman is a believer she will be upset with God, because she does not understand the reasons for what happened. It is also common to envy couples who live their pregnancies without complications and enjoy their children.

Negotiation phase

This stage begins when guilt becomes confusion. ” If I had done this or that ” is the one that mobilizes or disturbs the parents who suffered the loss.

They ask themselves again and again what would have happened if, instead of doing one thing or another, they had done something else to avoid the death of their son. They also imagine how nice it would have been to have the baby.

Depression phase

Perinatal grief

The negotiation lasts little and gives way to depression. In the face of the irrevocable reality that perinatal death signifies, emotions or symptoms appear such as sadness, reluctance, sleep disorder or loss of appetite.

There is also the anxiety in the doubt of getting pregnant again or the fear that the same thing will happen with the next pregnancy.

Acceptance phase

It is the final phase of the process of perinatal grief. It is when you accept that you have to continue living despite having gone through a loss.

Little by little, the daily routine is resumed. However, for the hope of conceiving a new baby to arise, it still takes some time.

To overcome perinatal grief

If you have just experienced the loss of a baby, you have the right to live your perinatal grief. It is necessary that this be so that you can accept, cry and heal the wound left by the fact that your pregnancy did not reach a happy conclusion.

Perinatal grief

To live and overcome the different phases of perinatal grief we leave you with the following recommendations:

  • On the one hand, your doctor must give you a detailed explanation of the medical reasons that caused your As well as the consequences that can be derived towards future pregnancies.
  • Also, do not refrain from naming your baby in front of your partner, family, friends or co-workers. To elaborate on the duel you do not have to forget the baby you lost.
  • On the other hand, cry with total freedom your loss. Avoid setting deadlines to achieve your recovery.
  • You should also do everything you need to feel a little better each
  • Do not forget to take care of your physical and emotional health. If you need professional help, do not hesitate to look for it.
  • In turn, no one can press you on what will be the fate that you will give clothes or accessories that you had for the baby.
  • Laughter is healthy Do not be afraid or believe that you dishonor the baby’s memory if you are able to smile or rejoice.
  • Finally, if you need to do a ritual to say goodbye, honor or remember the baby, do it.

Final reflection

The perinatal grief must be lived independently of the reasons that motivated the loss of the baby. The woman, the couple and the family have the right to live and overcome their pain. Little by little they will recover normality. It’s a matter of being patient and waiting.

Eliana Brown

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