Managing Classes during Pregnancy After Loss

For many women, becoming pregnant means being included in this special “club”—the “mom club” full of insiders that share their wisdom and tips for motherhood. Part of joining this club means partaking in initiation kinds of activities like pre-natal yoga or birthing class. Once your child is born, you are “allowed” into the full versions of these classes, like Mommy and Me Yoga or Baby and Me music classes. Women don’t expect to detour and become part of another “club” for those that have lost pregnancies.

When you are pregnant again, you are straddling both of these not-so-secret societies: the Babyloss club (that no one willingly joins) and the Pregnancy club (where membership might seem more coveted). Since there are few classes offered for the woman that is straddling both, it seems the choice is to figure out how to join with those that don’t know of loss or to miss out completely. Here are some thoughts if you join an expectant mother type of class:

  • You can choose to share your journey (or not). Sometimes, sharing means that you give permission to others in the class that might have been on a similar journey to talk about it. There is certainly the risk too of being “the loss mom” and knowing this about you can erect an unintended barrier between you and the other moms (which you might be feeling anyway).
  • You might react to different parts of others pregnancies: for example, if everyone is sharing how far along they are, and someone is nearing when you had your loss, you might feel afraid for her as a result of your experience.
  • It might be important for you to know that the babies have safely arrived. Not every class forms a tight bond, but for those that do, it might be important to stress that people share when their babies arrive.
  • What you are feeling on the inside is known to you. Others might not realize that showing up fills you with anxiety.
  • It might be hard to talk about the ups and downs of pregnancy. Some pregnant women love to complain about what ails them. You might have to decide what you let slide and what you speak up about.
  • You might start to feel a little bit more normal. It can be refreshing to allow yourself the space to think that things will turn out differently and enjoy parts of your pregnancy after loss.
  • If being around other pregnant women who haven’t experienced loss is too hard, see if you can find a teacher who can give you private instruction, whether this is for yoga or birth.

What tips do you have for attending a pregnancy class after loss?

*Photo Source: “Pregnancy Yoga” by Brian Tomlinson at Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons 2.0

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About the Author:

Dr. Julie Bindeman
Dr. Julie Bindeman is a reproductive psychologist and co-director of Integrative Therapy of Greater Washington outside of the Nation's Capital. No stranger to loss, Dr. Bindeman is the mother of 6 children--three of which she can cuddle in her arms while three live in her heart. She contributes regularly to Reconceiving Loss, writes professionally, and is an ardent advocate for Women's Rights.

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