As someone who has experieced loss, it's important to ask questions, communicate openly and share your feelings with people who can provide support.
Perinatal loss means you have experienced one of the following:
- Pregnancy loss
- Interruption of pregnancy
- Death of your newborn baby or infant
Losing a pregnancy or baby during any stage in pregnancy or after birth can be an emotionally difficult experience. The person giving birth, as well as the family, may experience symptoms of grief at different times and in different ways:
- Feeling numb
- Increased anxiety or depression
Your health-care providers, including social workers, nurses, midwives and doctors, can provide you and your family with support. This health-care team is available to support you in the early stages of loss with counselling and any additional, helpful information. If you wish, we can connect you with spiritual care as well.
During this time, you may wish to invite family members or other support people to be with you during your hospital stay. You also may want to have your other children meet the baby after birth. Many families find it helpful to see and hold their baby at the time of birth and death. Let the hospital staff know how much time you want with your baby and if you would like time alone.
Mementos can be collected either by your health-care providers or by you and your family. Mementos may include photographs, hand and footprints, finger molds and items you used while caring for your baby. You are welcome to take your own photos and bring in your own belongings (outfit, blanket, stuffed animal) for your baby.
Help at Home
A public health nurse will call you or come see you in your home to provide you support and assess your healing. There are independent counsellors and support groups that specialize in grief support specific to pregnancy and infant loss.
HealthLine 811 is a free, confidential telephone service that provides telephone support to people in Saskatchewan who have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. A HealthLine 811 Maternal Wellness Outbound Call Program clinician will speak to you over the phone and provide assessments, information, support, coping strategies and information regarding community resources. If you are interested in this service, please contact your local public health office to receive a referral. Contact HealthLine 811 at any time.