If you are struggling to heal from a miscarriage, stillbirth, or post-abortion trauma we are here for you.
Are you experiencing reproductive loss?
The loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, or through continued unsuccessful efforts at family planning can lead to intense feelings of sadness and grieving, referred to as reproductive loss or reproductive grief.
These emotions can be complex and difficult to process, and many women often suffer alone, especially when this loss occurs before they have shared the news that they are pregnant with friends and family.
If you have experienced reproductive loss, you are not alone.
It is estimated that between 10% – 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage1. Around 30% – 50% of these losses will produce feelings of anxiety in women, with 10%-15% experiencing symptoms of depression.2
Although reproductive loss is deeply personal and often veiled in silence, it is more commonly experienced than many would think.
Reproductive grief is different from other forms of grief because you are grieving the loss of a future.
Unlike the loss of a loved one whom we have known and been able to spend time with in the past, reproductive loss is unique in that it leaves a void in the future in the shape of an unmet child.
Reproductive grief also often has an element of disenfranchised grief, a term that refers to grief that feels like it cannot be publicly or openly acknowledged because it is stigmatized by society. In these situations, the feeling of loss is often feels like it is unjustified and may go unacknowledged or ignored.3
Additionally, the bonding process between mother and the developing fetus also often begins extremely early, so it can be hard to articulate the intense feelings of loss when that pregnancy ends.
Mothers who have undergone an abortion may experience their own unique form of grief.
Reproductive loss through abortion
Feelings of guilt, sadness, depression, and grief after abortion are more common than many think, and it is possible for feelings of unease to come on immediately or hit you suddenly weeks or even years after the procedure. A steep decline in the pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone may cause mood swings and emotional unrest, while internal moral, religious or societal beliefs may contribute to feelings of guilt and shame. Women who already suffer from mental health challenges like depression or anxiety may also be more susceptible to experiencing depressive episodes.4
Symptoms of post-abortion trauma
- Bouts of crying
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Avoiding intimate relationships
- Engaging in unhealthy relationships
Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) if you are thinking about or planning to hurt yourself.
Obria Medical Clinics can connect you with resources that can help
Obria Medical Clinics also works with an online after-abortion wellness program called abortionchangesyou.com. It is a confidential space that serves as a refuge for those who wish to begin the process of healing. This process includes building support, exploring emotions, and identifying loss. This pathway is a starting point for reflection and healing regarding the personal impact of abortion. Each person will go through the process differently. We encourage you to explore the site.
If you are overwhelmed or need local support, please call us at any of our locations. We are here for you.
If you are struggling to heal after a miscarriage or still birth, Obria can help you find resources that can help.
1 in 4 women lose their baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or in need of local support, find a counselor in your area or contact one of our locations to assist you. While Obria.org is not a professional counseling site, nor is it meant to replace professional counseling, we are happy to help connect you to whatever resources you may need.
Sometimes a reproductive loss experience can create intense emotions that you may not feel equipped to deal with on your own. Please use the Find Help locator to access national and local support resources.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) if you are thinking about or planning to hurt yourself.
lf you are having a hard time coping with reproductive loss, here are some general recommendations to help facilitate healing:
Give yourself permission to feel.
Allow yourself the grace and time to feel everything you need to feel. It is important that you treat yourself with patience, kindness, and compassion, and recognize the only way forward is through.
Find a support system.
Practice self-care, embrace routine and re-engage in activities that bring you joy.
If you continue to struggle, consider seeking professional help.
You are not alone, and you do not have to do this alone.
Mental health practitioners not only offer a listening ear, but valuable advice, expertise and coping strategies related to what you are going through, even from within the comfort of your own home. Contact your insurance provider and find a therapist in your network today.
You are seen, you are supported, and what you are going through is valid.
For additional support, book an appointment for reproductive loss counselling at an Obria clinic near you.
- Dimes, M. of. (2023, February). Miscarriage. March of Dimes. https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/miscarriage-loss-grief/miscarriage#:~:text=Miscarriage%20(also%20called%20early%20pregnancy,20%20percent)%20end%20in%20miscarriage.
- Figo, U. (2018, June 14). Psychological impact of miscarriage. https://www.figo.org/news/what-psychological-impact-miscarriage
3. Ave, S. (2023, July 11). Understanding grief after abortion. South Avenue Women’s Services. https://www.southavewomensservices.com/understanding-grief-after-abortion/
4. Malina, O. (2023, September 28). How to deal with Depression & Grief after abortion – talkspace. Mental Health Conditions. https://www.talkspace.com/mental-health/conditions/articles/depression-after-abortion