ENSURING SUPPORT

Pregnancy After Loss Support is dedicated to ensuring that every mom and her partner who is experiencing pregnancy after loss is able to find support and connection among both peers and health care professionals who understand and validate the unique and complex experience of pregnancy after a previous perinatal or child death.

Pregnant woman sitting on bed - PALS Mission and Values

OUR VISION

Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) strives to support women pregnant after a loss and encourage them to choose hope over fear while nurturing grief during a subsequent pregnancy. Pregnancy After Loss Support accomplishes this goal through services for both the mom (and her partner) pregnant again after a loss and the providers who treat her. PALS services include an online magazine, online peer-moderated support groups, local meet-ups, outreach and education through speaking and tabling at professional conferences, resource listings for families and healthcare providers, and a newsletter.

OUR MISSION OBJECTIVES

AWARENESS

To improve awareness and spread recognition that pregnancy after loss is a unique experience.

ADVOCACY

To advocate for the PAL mom’s health and the health of her baby by empowering her to advocate for herself by trusting her motherly instincts.

CONNECTION

To connect moms to providers and peers for the added support that is needed during a pregnancy after a loss.

EDUCATION

To educate both moms and healthcare providers about the difference between the anxiety of a normal pregnancy after loss experience and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders so they know when to seek additional support.

OUR GUIDING BELIEFS

  • Pregnancy after loss is a unique experience of grief and joy that requires recognition from family, friends, peers, and providers.

  • There is limited information, resources, and support for the mom who is pregnant again after a loss, and she deserves more support and guidance during this time in her life.

  • Peer support is an integral and effective part of the healing process for the bereaved mother and, by extension, for the mom who is at any stage of her trying to conceive, pregnancy, and parenting after loss journey.

  • Nurturing the mom’s grief and mourning that comes from the death of a child is an important part of creating attachment to both the child who died and learning how to lean into the celebration and attachment of the child she is carrying.

  • Choosing to embrace both the fear of losing another child and the hope for a baby who lives during the subsequent pregnancy after loss is a courageous act.

  • Sharing our stories makes us stronger and helps others become stronger.

  • Pregnant after loss moms are at the core of everything we do at PALS. We are bereaved-mom and PAL-mom focused, with an emphasis on delivering information through technology and supportive peer-to-peer services. Our work is driven by the PAL moms’ needs.

  • Pregnancy after loss is a family issue, therefor a societal issue. Healthy moms lead to healthy babies. Pregnancy after loss is both a women’s health and a children’s health issue.

  • Access to peer support improves a mother’s mental health by reminding her she is not alone in this challenging journey of pregnancy after loss.

  • PAL moms have the right to trust their motherly instincts and advocate for her own and her baby’s health needs.

Pregnant mama with teddy bear - Bill of Rights

Pregnancy After Loss Mama’s Rights

We believe that all PAL mamas have the following rights (from Lindsey Henke’s My Pregnancy After Loss Bill of Rights):

  • I have the right to grieve my child or children that have died and/or the previous pregnancies I have lost. I have the right to be sad about my loss(es) during my current pregnancy.
  • I have the right to be scared, anxious and afraid. I already know what it is like to lose. I know how it feels to have the “It will never happen to me” actually happen to me. I have already had the worst happen, and I know it could happen again. Please don’t diminish my reality by diminishing my fears.
  • I have the right to receive support. I need it now more than ever. Especially from my family, friends, other bereaved and PAL moms, mental health providers, and my pregnancy care team.
  • I have the right to seek reassurance from others when needed. I also have the right to turn down reassurance that others give me that I did not ask for and do not want to hear or believe at this time.
  • I have the right to be believed by health care providers. I am the expert on my body, my baby, and this pregnancy, and my concerns should and will be taken seriously. If they are not taken seriously, I can and will find a doctor or midwife who will respect my experience and expertise of knowing myself and listen to my needs.
  • I have the right to plan for and have the birth experience I choose. Be it a at home, hospital, or C-section birth, I have the right to plan and hope for the birth experience that I will find the most healing. I understand firsthand that life doesn’t always go according to plans, but I still have the right to plan for things being different this time.
  • I have the right to not attend baby showers, birthday parties, holidays and any other events that are triggering for me. Declining an invitation to a baby shower during my pregnancy after loss is not self-centered or rude; it’s called self-preservation, which we all have a right to want and enact during our pregnancy after loss.
  • I have the right to feel joy and hope for this new life I carry inside of me. I am free to hope that this child will bring me some sense of healing and joy back into my life.
  • I have the right to NOT be okay. I have been through one of the worst experiences a person can go through; I have lost a child and the mothering of that child. Because of this I have earned the right to not be alright during this pregnancy after loss. If someone has a problem with that, then they might not be someone that can be in my life right now.
  • I have the right to remember my child(ern) that died and/or the previous pregnancy I have lost. Just because I am expecting again does not mean I have stopped grieving all that I have lost.
  • I have the right to celebrate or not celebrate this pregnancy. Pregnancy after loss is hard. It might be the hardest thing I have ever done after losing my child. I have the right to be confused about the dance of joy and grief that continually flows through me as I expect new life while grieving another.
Pregnant woman with her doctor

WHO WE SERVE

Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) serves the mom who is navigating the difficult journey of pregnancy after loss. At PALS we believe pregnancy after loss encompasses the time period from trying to conceive (TTC) after a loss, during the subsequent pregnancy, and into the first year of parenting the child(ren) born after a loss. PALS also offers support to the courageous PAL dad and/or PAL partner.

At PALS we believe that the story of the courageous PAL parents needs to be told, and parents need to be supported. In order to best do this, PALS also serves our PAL parents by educating and supporting the healthcare professionals who treat them.

I want to…

Stay connected with PALS