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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Episode 55 (Epilogue): Support in Pregnancy and Infant Loss

First off, this week we introduced the Maternally Yours “Books over Brunch” meeting which we will now be holding every other month at Station 400. Our first selection is Into these Hands: Wisdom from Midwives, and our first meeting will be December 2nd at 10am.

It is important to start, first off, by noting that the contents of tonight’s show may be particularly difficult for some listeners. The subject of tonight’s show deal with pregnancy and infant loss, and ways in which loved ones and the community can work to support someone who has been through this very trying experience. We discussed the stages of grieving that someone mourning a loss of pregnancy or an infant might experience, and the ways in which women have to work in order to achieve a “new normal” after such a loss.

Cohostess Cheryl talked to us about her own experiences with pregnancy loss and as a pregnancy loss doula. She talked about the ways in which her own loses affected her future pregnancy, and how she has witnessed these losses having an effect on other women as well. In particular, she highlighted the fear and anxiety that many women may feel, as well as a lack of attachment and fear of bonding to one’s pregnancy that is also common. In particular, Cheryl talked about her experiences have highlighted a need for continued support of individuals grieving a pregnancy or infant loss, and the ways in which individuals must be free to grieve on their own terms, in their own way, and for their own amount of time.

Our next guest was Arielle Carrillo. Arielle shared her own experience with third trimester loss of her daughter. Arielle walked us through her truly impactful experience, from hospital care, to dealing with the after effects of her loss.  She shared the ways in which her son helped get her through the difficult time, and how her friends, family and community encouraged her healing process. In particular, she discussed the need for loved ones to reach out directly to someone who has gone through this experience, helping them to take care of everyday things like food and cleaning which they may not be focused on or able to do because of what they are going through. Arielle also noted that you cannot have a stillbirth at home in Florida, however Christina Holmes of Birthways Family Birth Center noted that let us know that a stillbirth can be performed at home with a Licensed Midwife in the home setting now, provided that legal and medical arrangements are made in advanced.

Our final guest was Tamara Taitt of The Gathering Place Maternity Center in Miami, Florida. She talked to us about the usefulness of support groups for some individuals when grieving pregnancy and  infant loss. She also talked to us about the ways in which a support group could be started in our own area, specifically through Share. On top of stressing the helpfulness of support groups, Tamara also talked about the ways in which main supports within the family unit needs to be emotionally and physically present, as well as acknowledging that while you can’t know what they are going through, you can be there for them.

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