According to the American Pregnancy Association, 15 – 20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage each year. 670,000 women miscarry a pregnancy each year, and one in 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth. These numbers are disheartening. The cultural norm tells us we should move on – miscarriages are common enough aren’t they? And the thought of infant death takes the wind out of most; often the topic is entirely avoided. But for each and every woman, the loss of this tiny life is so real, so devastating…how does life move on? Where is hope? Our hope is in the healing process. Hope is in recognizing that each and every one of these little lives was and is significant. Hope is in in the fact that we are not alone. Hope is in knowing that in spite of our pain, we will grow to be better, stronger women and mothers.
About the GriefCare Program
The GriefCare program at the Midwives of New Jersey Jersey runs periodic sessions that meet on a weekly basis to provide an outlet and support network for mothers to openly and freely discuss the loss of their child. At any stage of pregnancy, from early miscarriage to early infant loss, we are here to walk through the grieving process alongside of you.
Why the Grieving Process is Important
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1997, researchers found that women who miscarried were two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer from major depression. A survey conducted by The Compassionate Friends organization in 2006 showed a divorce rate of 16 percent among bereaved parents who suffered from the loss of a child. The fact is, the loss of a child creates both recognized and unrecognized stressors on your life and relationships. Increased depression and anxiety can negatively affect your marriage, your children, job performance, relationships with immediate and extended friends and family, and even future pregnancies. In 1988, President Ronald Regan declared October to be National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – a step in the right direction for our country – but as a society we have room for much progress in acknowledging pregnancy and infant loss and the significant impact it has upon these mothers who carried these tiny lives.
Topics Covered in the GriefCare Program
Our GriefCare class will assist in facilitating the healing process by discussing topics such as:
- Cyclical stages of grief, mourning, guilt, and fear (inability to conceive, future pregnancies)
- Impact and change in both immediate and extended relationships
- Coping with major milestones (e.g. expected due date, first birthday, birth of a subsequent child) and other external factors and events such as attending baby showers and birthday parties
- Fathers and siblings grieve too
- Celebration and recognition of the child’s life
- Additionally, for those facing an anomalous pregnancy, resources can assist with creating birth plans, interacting with doctors, and making arrangements for after-care and or final arrangements.
Who Should Attend GriefCare?
The GriefCare program is designed for those who have experienced miscarriage/multiple miscarriages, stillbirth, early infant loss, or any anomalous or fatal diagnosis. You will be surrounded with others who mourn the loss of great expectations.
*A nominal fee may be collected to support administrative costs of the program.
Our GriefCare Leader
Holly Roller endured the loss of her first pregnancy early-on through miscarriage as well as the loss of her second child Timothy who she carried to full-term, from a devastating neural tube defect. She is joyfully married and has been blessed with three healthy and beautiful children who fill her heart on a daily basis. Her desire is to help mothers recognize both the life and the loss of their child, coming alongside them to help walk through the natural grieving process. Her belief is that every life has a purpose and that we can experience hope in the midst of the storm.
To learn more email [email protected]