'Please don’t go it alone': Helena Tubridy talks healing after pregnancy loss
October is pregnancy loss awareness month.
No one expects to have a miscarriage – as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test you’re ready for your baby.
The sense of loss is excruciating for both parents. Healing involves learning to take back some control, finding balance within your narrative.
Helena Tubridy RGN RM Fertility Coach is a fertility expert who has helped her clients to heal from pregnancy loss and this week she shares with us some of her advice.
Speaking on recovering after the loss of a pregnancy, Helena says that it is common to feel a little lost afterwards;
"It’s not uncommon for your identity to take a big hit after the tragedy and trauma of miscarriage loss. Feeling very insecure, overwhelmed, life is turned upside-down.
I help women remember it’s not their fault, something very bad has happened to them. It’s blinding and all-consuming. Blame, guilt and shame create extra layers and add on a massive burden.
Grief is utterly exhausting. Overwhelming. You’ve got to realise that sometimes it takes what seems an age to begin to begin to feel normal.
That’s normal in this weird new normal space you’re learning to live. So be gentle with yourself, nourish your body, your mind and soul and take the comfort you need. In a healthy way."
When it comes to healing and grieving, Helena's best advice is reach out to your support system;
"Please don’t go it alone. Grief and loss are the loneliest experiences in life. Get a great trauma therapist specialised in miscarriage and perinatal work.
Build your support system however small, a strong network of people who add value. Steer clear and avoid anyone dishing out unsolicited advice, judging, telling you their story or pressuring you in any way.
Be honest with yourself about your needs, and highly selective about who makes the cut. It’s not forever."
Helena also advises women going through pregnancy loss not to take on to much and to allow themselves the proper time to mourn;
"Learn to say NO! You and your healing are the main focus for now. Loads of things are unhelpful or exhausting when you’re grieving. Resist the easy temptation to bow to social pressure.
You know what you’re able for, what events or people you’ve got enough energy for on a given day or week. Check in if it’s worth the effort to you right now.
Don’t let anyone rush you. You’re not ‘getting over’ a cold. Grief is different. Be gentle with each other.
Each of you is grieving the loss of your expected baby – the hopes and dreams that accompany pregnancy.
It sometimes takes longer than you wish to get used to living with pregnancy loss."
While Helena does believe having a strong support system with family and friends is the backbone to recovery, sometimes professional help is needed;
"If the good parts of a day don’t outweigh the the bad after the 12-week mark, it may be time to consider getting some professional help. Miscarriage is a traumatic event that changes your fertility narrative.
There are still the pregnancy milestones to consider, the due date, watching others pregnancies progress, the birth of babies around your due date.
You can choose to step back until you feel stronger around women with new babies. Why wouldn’t you feel more sadness as the milestones pass? You were prepared to know and love this little one."
Ultimately, Helena feels that we need to grieve the loss of a pregnancy the same as any other loss in our lives and to take it at our own pace;
"A farewell ceremony may be helpful for you. My clients often find it easier to be in contact with the helpful folk, taking time away for a while to heal before connecting in with more challenging people or situations.
Let them all be guided by your needs. Go back to work when you feel ready to. The same goes for those social gatherings (even online) like gender reveals, christenings, baby birthdays or communions."
If you are struggling with the loss of a pregnancy or would like some additional support you can contact Feileacain's support line at (085) 249 6464 .