Rachel Freedman

About Rachel Freedman

Rachel E.K. Freedman, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Bethesda, Maryland who specializes in perinatal loss. After experiencing her own termination for medical reasons (TFMR) and finding very few in-person resources, she started an in-person TFMR support group that has run for the past 8 years. Rachel went on to have two healthy pregnancies and now is the proud parent of two girls. She also writes and speaks on topics pertaining to perinatal loss, trauma, and women’s issues. She can be reached at rachelfreedmanphd@gmail.com.

The Body in Pregnancy After Loss: The Additional Weight of Grief

When my clients become pregnant again after a pregnancy loss, they often express some degree of dissatisfaction with their weight. They tell me that they never got back to their “starting weight,” the number on the scale at the beginning of the first pregnancy. They express disappointment about this and fear about the weight they [...]

Coping With Grief–What to Actually Do

*Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash My clients often ask me, “What should I do? Do you have any strategies you can share for how to cope with my grief?” The answer is complicated. For me, this question is deeper than it appears. The grieving client is asking, ”How can I feel less bad?” Or, more [...]

By | 2017-12-25T22:28:43+00:00 December 25th, 2017|Emotional Health, From Professionals|0 Comments

When Breastfeeding Sucks: D-MER After Loss

The breastfeeding relationship can be one of great significance to the mother. When there has been a pregnancy or neonatal loss, breastfeeding one’s subsequent child can take on even more meaning. But when the mother encounters difficulties, expected or unexpected, there is a potential for psychological consequences, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a subjective [...]

Pregnancy After Loss–The Dread of The Occasional Encounter

There are people in our lives we only see intermittently. We see the dentist once or twice per year. We see our hairstylist every two to three months (or longer if you are growing it out.) We see certain out of town colleagues only at the big meeting in April. And we see our third [...]

Five Questions about Pregnancy after Loss in the Workplace

Women who are pregnant with or without a history of loss face many challenges at work. They wonder who to tell, when to tell, and worry about issues like maternity leave, health benefits, job security and of course, what to do if their water breaks at the office. Women who are pregnant again after a [...]

Addressing the Diversity of Experiences in Working with PAL Clients

In working with women who are pregnant again after loss (and their partners), I have realized my task is both simple and complex. While I seek to help clients by normalizing their experience of loss, I also must attend to individual experiences of grief, anger, and fear, as well as moments of joy, relief, and [...]

Staying Strong Together–Navigating Grief as a Couple

When a pregnancy loss occurs and there are two partners, there will inevitably be two individual experiences and two different grief processes. Also, there is a third grief process, the couples’ joint grief. It can be a challenge to navigate pregnancy loss as a couple and as the therapist working with grieving couples. While there [...]

Revisiting My Loss with my Rainbow

Much of what I write about has to do with getting through a pregnancy after a loss. Whenever any member of our community brings a healthy baby home we celebrate. But the PAL journey doesn’t end there.   Pregnancy after loss then becomes parenting after loss. I have heard from many of my clients that the [...]

The Changing Relationship with One’s Body during Pregnancy after Loss

It is not uncommon for women to struggle in pregnancy with their changing bodies. Even when a woman gains the amount of weight suggested by medical guidelines, she may feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the changes in her body. She knows that a baby is growing inside her and yet she can at times feel [...]

The Ultrasound during Pregnancy After Loss

The ultrasound is a situation that many women fear if they’ve received bad news in a prior pregnancy during an appointment of this type. Even when a pregnancy is uneventful, women’s experiences of the ultrasound can vary widely. A warm, chatty technician is reassuring for some while for others, someone who appears confident and competent [...]