Helping families navigate the emotional tidal wave of subsequent pregnancy post perinatal loss

Helping families navigate the emotional tidal wave of subsequent pregnancy post perinatal loss

Keren Ludski

CEO Red Nose Australia, Director Peace of Mind Counselling and Supervision

Introduction
Pregnancy should be one of the happiest times of a family’s life. A time of excitement, planning, dreaming of a future with a beautiful and healthy baby. However, for families who have experienced perinatal loss their subsequent pregnancies are fraught with intense fear, anxiety and a whole gamut of mixed emotions

Description
The associated struggle to hold both excitement at the prospect of a healthy baby and the grief attached to the previous loss is evident in many cases. There is also the perception, by those supporting the grieving family; whether that be family, friends or clinicians that a subsequent pregnancy signals the end of the grieving period and a re-engagement with ‘normal’ life. It is important that individuals supporting these families understand the impact of the previous loss and are resourced with strategies to provide support to help families navigate the emotional tidal wave of a subsequent pregnancy.

Summary
This session will focus on strategies to best support families through a subsequent pregnancy through a lens of self-compassion, self-understanding and the integration of the Dual Process Model.This abstract represents the voices of the perinatally bereaved I have supported over the last 16 years. There are consistent themes that have emerged in regard to subsequent pregnancies post loss and the lack of real understanding by friends, family and clinicians of the intense emotions and anxiety that are experienced in a subsequent pregnancy. Clients feel they need to hide their true feelings and emotions at this challenging time and wear a mask of happiness.

Ethics statement
No ethics approval was required for this abstract

Key Words: Perinatal loss, Subsequent Pregnancies, Support,

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