Adjusting to life after a pregnancy loss is one of the most difficult challenges a woman faces. It is one of the least talked about issues in anxiety and depression therapy circles. And yet, pregnancy loss is incredibly common. If you’ve experienced it yourself, you know how profound the feelings of sadness and loss can be.
There is no quick and easy way to ‘snap out of it’ if pregnancy loss has a woman feeling sad and depressed. Late-term pregnancy losses tend to be more devastating than short-term losses, but it’s never easy no matter when the loss occurs.
Healing Can Take Time
One of the first things women dealing with pregnancy loss should know is that finding healing can take time. Healing is less of an object to be obtained and more of a journey to be traveled. For many women, the journey begins by having to break the news to family members and friends. Every time the announcement is made, wounds are ripped open while the overwhelming sadness returns.
The healing journey is all about allowing the body and mind to grieve in whatever way they want to. That can be difficult, especially when a woman is holding down a full-time job, caring for young children, or both. Some women find it helpful to begin journaling their journey or even engaging in creative writing that allows them to express their thoughts and feelings.
Setting Boundaries Helps
For many women, boundaries are a big part of the healing journey. We commonly talk about boundaries in both anxiety and depression therapy. Boundaries give us permission to experience the grief and loss when we need to without having to worry about responsibilities that we can set aside for a while.
Following a pregnancy loss, it might not be possible to immediately jump back into all the things a woman was doing before. Perhaps the volunteer work needs to be set aside for a while. Perhaps switching temporarily from full-time work to part-time is a good idea.
So many people believe that the best way to overcome grief and depression is to stay busy. That’s not necessarily bad advice across the board, but keeping busy isn’t the wisest choice for some women. Sometimes it’s better to pull back within some boundaries; to take some time for self-care before gradually easing back into things.
Working Through the Emotions
The hardest thing for many women grieving the loss of a pregnancy is working through the emotions. For example, there are days when a woman might be feeling incredibly happy and blessed when, out of the blue, a profound sadness sets in. That’s okay. It is normal. Stopping to let it all out with a good cry is perfectly acceptable.
Many women also experience feelings of guilt during the healing journey. They blame themselves for what happened. They find themselves dwelling on all the ‘what if’s’ – what if I had done this? What if I had done that? Could I have saved my baby?
All these things need to be worked through at whatever pace is comfortable for the individual. But working through the emotions is critical. Bottling them up inside only adds to the journey. It only makes the journey longer.
If you’ve experienced pregnancy loss and are struggling with anxiety or depression as a result, we are here to help. Finding healing is a journey that takes time. Having someone to walk that journey with you can make a world of difference. We are here to do just that. Get in touch so that we can help you find healing together.