The Impact of Grief and a Way Forward

The impact of bereavement is often misunderstood. Many parents from very early on in the pregnancy (for some this occurs even before the pregnancy) plan around the new baby. Clothes and furniture may have been bought, a room freshly painted, plans made for including the baby in their lives, kindergarten and schools chosen. When a pregnancy results in loss, parents mourn the loss of baby and these hopes and dreams. Parents may encounter a reality where others cannot fully understand the depth and extent of this grief or offer support in a way that is meaningful or wanted. Additionally, others such as grandparents, siblings, relatives and friends may very well be suffering their own sense of loss.

Contact with others enables those with recent experiences of loss to learn that the intensity and longevity of their grief is normal. Those suffering may also be reassured to see that eventually they will adjust to the death of the baby and may experience personal change, often for the better. This facilitation of natural grief reduces the possibility of long-term problems developing, which can arise when the expression of grief is denied or stunted.

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