Tips from PAL Moms: Joining a Pregnancy after Loss Support Group

Tips from PAL (pregnant after loss) Moms is a column at PALS Magazine where we ask you, the PAL mom, for feedback about your experience during pregnancy after loss. We ask a question on our Facebook Page and hope that you can help answer it while also benefiting from the answers, all in an effort to relate and learn from fellow moms who “get it.”

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Question:

Why did you join a pregnancy after loss support group, and did you find it helpful?

Answers:

Sarah – “I wanted to join because it helped me to talk to others who had been through a loss (and were pregnant again). Only people who have also been through a loss truly understand the things I am feeling and it helps to be able to talk about it with them. I also like to be able to provide support to others who have gone, or are going through a loss.”

Katie – “Being with other (PAL Moms) who truly ‘get it.’ The anxiety, the fear, the feelings of insanity. We share everything from experiences with medical professionals to interactions with family members. We help each other through all of the small bumps and huge obstacles that come with PAL. When you lose a baby, you join a ‘club’ you never wanted to be a part of, but that club has some of the strongest, most supportive women in the world as its members.”

Sam – “It gives me a place to ask questions and share without sharing with my friends and family and potentially breaking their hearts for a third time. No matter the situation there is someone that can relate in almost every way and it makes me feel less alone.”

Rebecca – “I joined because I didn’t feel comfortable in normal pregnancy groups. It felt uncomfortable being in a ‘new mom’ group when I had already delivered a stillborn baby but didn’t have any living children at home. I wanted to around women who wouldn’t think of me as a horror story of the group. Where I could express all my emotions including fear that it might happen again. And truth be told, I felt comforted by others’ anxiety (I felt less alone)…I didn’t want to be with women who only knew blissful ignorance about pregnancy!”

Dana – “I joined because I needed to hear from other women who knew what I was going through. I needed to know that I was NOT alone in my feelings. And when everyone else had moved on and stopped caring about my grief, I needed a safe space to share it.”

Jean – “I joined because other pregnant moms just didn’t understand. They don’t understand the fear, the panic, the knowing there is no safe point ever. I needed to hear success stories to keep me motivated, the late night sympathy when I had meltdowns was helpful too. I also hoped that I could help and motivate other moms who are just starting the journey. PALS moms are a special group of ladies who rarely judge and support each other openly and honestly. They care about our both our children that have died and our rainbows on the way because they know just how precious each one is.”

Ms. M – “I joined because no one quite gets how it feels being pregnant again after a loss apart from people who have actually been through it. Being pregnant again, you still want the support and advice from other pregnant parents but you don’t want to hear certain things that someone who has never had a loss would say. Pregnancy after loss groups are great for this and I wish there was a ‘real life’ one where I live.”

Emily – ”For me I was feeling a lot of grief, but felt my loss was invalid for a thousand reasons. The community welcomed me in my entirety. Recognizing my loss as valid and my grief as legitimate was other women who had similar experiences of loss. This group, for me, was therapeutic and had helped me feel all the emotions that went with the loss along with the excitement and anxiety that has been alongside this pregnancy.”

Leanne – “Having a safe place to come for support was important. I joined a PALS group because I wanted a place I could share my experiences with those who truly understand. Who best to walk with through my journey than those who have been in the same situation. Also, seeing pictures and reading other PAL moms stories and experiences helps give me hope, that this can really happen, that we can be blessed with our rainbows.”

Jessica – “I find it helpful to feel connected, understood, supported and encouraged by a courageous group of women who have been through and who can only understand the pain, heartache and turmoil of pregnancy loss. It is a club no one wants to be a part of but once you are, the ‘club’ becomes a safe haven for leaning into others and finding strength.”

Dana – “I joined because it was comforting to know others were going through a similar journey and could understand firsthand my fears and anxieties.”

Stephanie – “It is impossible for anyone who hasn’t walked through it to fully understand the fears and anxieties of PAL, so it has helped so much to have a group that does understand. For me it has also helped ease my anxiety to see healthy rainbows being born in this group, and knowing that happy endings are possible.”

Shannon – “Finding your community is essential in navigating the new reality that is your life and most especially for pregnancy after loss. It is a unique experience that only those who have experienced it can relate and support.”

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About the Author:

Lindsey Henke
Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support, writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother to two beautiful daughters and one sweet-cheeked baby boy. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December of 2012. Since then, she has turned to writing on her blog, Still Breathing. Lindsey was featured as Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s Knocked Up Blogger during her pregnancy with her second daughter, Zoe, who was born healthy and alive in March of 2014. Her writing about life after loss has been featured on Still Standing Magazine, Listen to Your Mother, Scary Mommy, Healthline, Postpartum Progress, and The New York Times. Lindsey can be reached by email.

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