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Pregnancy Loss and Postpartum Healing



Welcome,


If you're here because you've experienced the heartbreaking death of a child during pregnancy or childbirth, please know that my heart goes out to you. I'm deeply honored to welcome you into this space, and I sincerely hope that it offers you comfort and support. To partners, family members, and support teams, thank you for being here to absorb these words, so you can better support the mother through this rite of passage. Your presence and understanding mean more than words can express.


Firstly, let's explore language and labels.


Miscarriage: The term miscarriage is comprised of two words: "mis-", meaning "mistakenly, wrongly, or badly," and "-carriage," a "means of conveyance."


Pregnancy loss: Loss, is defined as "the fact of not having someone or something that you had before, or of having less of something than before."


Premature stillbirth: 'Premature' happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper, usual, or intended time. 'Stillbirth' A stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery


Spontaneous abortion: The word abortion derives from the Latin aboriri–to miscarry. Abortion is defined as the spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy before fetal viability.


Language and words act like magic; we may not fully comprehend their effect, but part of us does. Language is very personal, and whatever you choose to use is the right word for you. This is an exploration to see what sits well with you.


What feelings arise when saying "My baby died during pregnancy or birth" - are the feelings rooted in how that sentence may make someone else feel, or does it actually not sit well in your heart?


What do you feel sits more gently on your nervous system?


I will use "pregnancy loss" in this blog.


Depending on your personal experience, you may have encountered these terms in medical discussions. I wanted to address this aspect first before delving into the deeply nourishing content of this blog, which aims to offer guidance on healing and rejuvenation.


These terms include:


Miscarriage: The natural loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation.

Spontaneous Abortion: Another term for miscarriage, referring to the natural termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable.

Stillbirth: The loss of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy, typically characterized by the absence of signs of life at birth.

Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy that implants and grows outside the uterus, most commonly in the uterine tube. It is not viable and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Molar Pregnancy: A rare condition where abnormal tissue grows in the uterus instead of a healthy fetus.

Blighted Ovum: A type of miscarriage where a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but doesn't develop into an embryo.

Missed Miscarriage: A type of miscarriage where the embryo or fetus has died, but the body does not expel it.

Chemical Pregnancy: A very early miscarriage that occurs shortly after implantation, often before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

Threatened Miscarriage: Bleeding during pregnancy that suggests a miscarriage may occur but does not necessarily result in pregnancy loss.

Incompetent Cervix: A condition where the cervix begins to dilate prematurely during pregnancy, leading to miscarriage or preterm birth.


Rite of Passage


First and foremost, I want to extend a warm welcome to you as a mother. Regardless of the length of your pregnancy, your journey into motherhood is valid and profound. Your body responded to the message of conception, offering its support to nurture both you and your baby. The emotions and physical sensations you experienced throughout your pregnancy, and in the wake of your baby's death, are unique to your journey and are deserving of love and compassion.


A rite of passage marks a transition from the known to the unknown. During pregnancy, the initial stage of this journey begins. In childbirth, we find ourselves in a state of limbo, straddling two worlds. The Postpartum represents the crossing of a bridge into the unknown. While the essence of who we are remains, we emerge adorned with the jewels of our journey, enriched with wisdom and insight to share with our community.


This is still your rite of passage.


Although this journey may feel different than expected, with many women caught in limbo, without their baby in their arms, the support they long for may not be readily available. The time, rest, nourishment, and care they envisioned giving themselves with their baby in their arms may no longer exist, compounded by the weight of grief.


So, how do we navigate this transition over the bridge?


It begins with acknowledging what has happened.


Healing and Integrating


Following a pregnancy loss, hormonal changes occur as the body transitions from a pregnant to a non-pregnant state. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) levels decline, signaling the end of pregnancy, while progesterone, estrogen, and prolactin levels may fluctuate as the body adjusts. Additionally, thyroid hormones, cortisol, and melatonin levels may be affected, impacting metabolism, stress response, and sleep patterns.


As our body adjusts, the rest we would typically take after a full-term pregnancy is required, and I would dare to say even more so, as you will also have grief sitting with you.


Physiological needs following a pregnancy loss vary depending on individual experiences, but the fundamental principles of healing remain the same as full-term postpartum care. The following basic principles of healing are applicable to all moving through ANY rite of passage, regardless of the specific circumstances.


The pillars, as described and honored by Rachelle Garcia Seliga in innate traditions, encompass:


1. Rest: Allowing for physical recuperation and emotional restoration.

2. Warmth: Offering comfort and soothing the soul.

3. Nutrition: Nourishing the body, replenishing vital nutrients, and supporting recovery.

4. Bodywork: Promoting healing and alignment.

5. Community: Providing a sense of belonging, support and understanding.


In our two-part online gathering series, I will delve more specifically into food, herbs, bodywork practices, and tips tailored to support healing after pregnancy loss. We'll explore nourishing recipes, herbal remedies, gentle bodywork techniques, and practical tips and rituals / cermonies to honor the life of your baby (All will be recorded)


Financial Support


Pregnancy loss not only entails emotional and physical challenges but also practical considerations, including time off from work for healing and grieving. However, navigating the financial implications and securing leave can be daunting for many.


I understand that for some, taking more than two days off may not be feasible. Perhaps you have other children to take care of or various responsibilities that can't be put on hold. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to consider how you can create more space even if it's 30 minutes to yourself each day for the next month. Instead of focusing on what you can't do, ask yourself: What can you offer yourself during this time? Look for small moments throughout the day to nurture yourself, whether it's taking a short nap, enjoying a warm cup of tea, or simply allowing yourself a moment of quiet reflection.


If you are in one of these countries this may be of support:


United Kingdom: In the UK, employees are entitled to take paid time off work for pregnancy loss under the statutory entitlement for compassionate leave. This typically allows for a period of paid leave, although the length of time may vary depending on individual circumstances and employer policies.

New Zealand: New Zealand offers bereavement leave for parents who experience a stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death. This leave allows for up to three days of paid leave for the primary caregiver and one day for their partner.

Australia: Australian employees are entitled to compassionate leave if they experience a miscarriage or stillbirth. This leave typically provides for a period of unpaid leave, although some employers may offer paid leave as part of their policies.

Canada: In Canada, employees may be eligible for compassionate care leave under provincial or territorial employment standards legislation. While this leave is primarily intended for caregiving responsibilities, it may also be applicable in situations of pregnancy loss.


Community


As part of the two-part series, I'll be sharing helpful resources to assist you in communicating your needs with your family and friends. I recognize that for many, discussing pregnancy loss isn't something that's openly spoken about, and navigating these conversations can be challenging. That's why I'm here to provide you with practical tools and guidance to help you communicate your needs effectively and seek the support you deserve.


Online Gathering


Nurturing Healing After Pregnancy Loss


RSVP - Accessible through membership: £18 cancel anytime all classes are saved in the living library


Part 1: Opening Circle and Rite of Passage

Date: February 18th Sunday


We invite you to share your experiences, together we'll also explore finding words that resonate with you, acknowledging that traditional terms like "pregnancy loss" or "miscarriage" might not feel aligned with your journey. The session will culminate in a transformative rite of passage meditation, offering solace and empowerment as you navigate this deeply personal terrain.


Part 2: Nourishing Practices for Postpartum Healing

Date: March 13th, Wednesday


Continuing our journey of healing, join us on March 13th for a workshop focusing on nurturing practices for postpartum healing following pregnancy loss, as well as the loss of a baby in utero or after labor. Together, we'll explore gentle and supportive methods to navigate this delicate phase with care and compassion. This session aims to provide practical tools and emotional support to aid in your healing journey.


Depth of Motherhood Podcast Special with Alice Garner


Alice reached out to me to create something that would be of support to mothers experiencing the death of a child during pregnancy. Accompanying our workshop series is a special podcast episode featuring Alice, delving into her own journey. Join us for insightful conversations on navigating the complexities of motherhood, including the experiences of pregnancy loss and healing. Tune in to the "Depth of Motherhood" podcast to explore profound insights, shared experiences, and empowering narratives. 


Resources:


PDF to Share with Friends and Family:  Share this resource with loved ones to help them understand and provide meaningful support during this time.


eBook: Supporting You Through This Rite of Passage:  Delve deeper into your healing journey with our exclusive eBook. This resource offers a wealth of information and support, including physical care tips, ritual and ceremony ideas, nourishing recipes, and bodywork practices. Let this eBook be your companion as you navigate this transformative passage with grace and resilience. Available after both classes are complete.


RSVP - Accessible through membership: £18 cancel anytime all classes are saved in the living library


Sending you love,


Danielle






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