My lineage and ancestors are no strangers to pregnancy loss and the grief associated with it. Between my grandmother, mother, aunt, and myself we hold the wisdom and grief of 7 miscarriages, and 1 stillbirth. Three generations of loss, that I hold in my DNA, in my bones and my heart.
20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, that’s no small number. And even though it affects over 23 millions birthing people across the globe every year, it’s still one of the least discussed topics when it comes to reproductive health.
Unless you have lived experience of pregnancy loss or training that guides you in supporting people who have, knowing how to hold friends and family through such tender times can feel heavy. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with grief can take your breath away—it’s human nature to want to back away from that. Sometimes, that resistance is immobilizing, other times it helps create space and time to process your own emotions.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month — it’s almost certain someone in your life has been touched by pregnancy and/or infant loss. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss and abortion. 1 in 4 pregnant people will lose a baby in pregnancy, birth or infancy.
Pregnancy loss is unique in that many people might share the experience but only the pregnant person is physically, cellularly metamorphosed. This can be hard to navigate if you’re supporting someone through miscarriage and abortion: learning how to hold your own feelings both away from and in relation to is something that comes with self-work and compassion—things we have to learn and practice.
Early in my doula career, I supported a family through an unexpected stillbirth. At the time, since I was so new in practice, I felt completely lost with how best I could support this family now moving through grief. It was a stark reminder that no one can ever truly prepare for what grief and loss feels and looks like.
It’s almost certain someone in your life has been touched by pregnancy loss. This includes miscarriage of any kind, through to stillbirth, and infant loss. 1 in 4 pregnant people will lose a baby in pregnancy, birth or infancy.
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We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.