Updated: Apr 3, 2022
1. Start Writing or Journaling
I highly recommend taking up the habit of writing or journaling. This is a super healthy habit to develop. It doesn't have to be done in any specific format or structure. Just grab yourself a diary from Kmart for $4 and start jotting down whatever you have going on in your head. Doing this will allow you to read it back to identify, understand, and then organise the jumble you have going on, so that you can work towards processing it and therefore dealing with it.
You don't have to share it with anyone, or you can share it with the world. It's up to you.
But the more you start to understand what is going through your mind the faster you will begin to heal. This is an incredibly powerful tip that changed the course of my life hence why I highly recommend to anyone, regardless of their journey.
2. Join a Supportive Community or Group
This can come in many shapes and sizes.
Facebook groups are great resource to connect with people in your area and also worldwide. Sharing you thoughts and experiences with others who know exactly what you are going through is absolutely priceless and takes no effort at all to join up and get access to.
Local communities can also be helpful, reach out to your local council as they might already have support groups available for you to join.
Search for a blog or a podcast that you resonate with, this helps you find words to put to your feelings and can also help you on your journey. There's nothing more relieving than finding someone who is able to put into words exactly how you think or feel when you can find the words yourself.
SANDS have several resources to help you navigate through this hard time in your life, they have even adjusted to the world of COVID and now have online communities available to access.
The moral of this tip is to look for and find 'your people' which will help you feel less alone.
3. Remove Toxic Relationships from your life
Pregnancy after loss will take up whatever reserved energy you have left in the tank. After first having to go through the trauma of your loss, the last thing you need to be worrying about is people in your life weighing you down.
These people are most likely dear loved ones who may or may not have been causing you stress for years and you have continued to allow it because you love them.
But now is the time to remove them from your life, at least temporarily.
Protecting your inner peace and focusing on yourself is not a bad thing and you should never feel guilty for doing what you need to do for your mental health to ensure you are in the best possible midframe for you and your unborn bub. You should always look after yourself first but right now its critical.
4. Avoid Dr. Google
Google is an amazing tool and most people use it multiple times a day.
But when it comes to pregnancy, and particularly pregnancy after loss, I know how much stress and anxiety it can bring up when searching for particular topics and finding answers that bring panic to your absolute core and send you into a spiral of emotions.
Say for example you were to google 'sore toe' the potential causes and diagnoses offered are endless and not all of them are going to be an accurate answer based on your situation.
It's the exact same in pregnancy. Not all answers are going to be the answer for you.
Avoid 'Pregnancy Googling' as much as you can, otherwise it will send you around the bend. Best thing to do if you have a concern or question, in my opinion is to speak to your medical care professionals such as your doctor or midwife. They will be able to give you the most likely answer based on your situation and if they don't know, they will help you figure it out. Don't hesitate to contact them, that's what they are there for.
5. Honour Your Angel as much as you want
Find creative ways to honour your angel throughout your pregnancy, if that feels right for you.
There is no right or wrong way but the main thing here is don't let anyone dictate to you what you should or shouldn't do.
Do whatever makes you happy and content.
Suggestions could be hanging up you angels hand/foot prints or birth certificate in the nursery so they can be close to your new bub or buying a soft toy for each of your babies and including them in family photos.
Incorporating your angel however you see fit is another helpful tip on your PAL journey.
6. Allow yourself to feel whatever
This might sound obvious, but I feel like people forget to allow themselves to feel.
I know I did for a brief moment. I was so caught up in how I thought I should feel that I forgot to feel how I actually felt.
So now, I make sure to ride the wave. If I'm sad, I cry. If I'm hungry, i eat. If I am tired, I sleep. If I'm happy, I laugh. And more importantly I try not to overthink it or feel guilty about it and just let grief do its thing.
Obviously if it gets a point where I'm consistently unable to function daily then that is likely a problem that should be discussed with a doctor.
But 9 months on after my loss, I try not to beat myself when things just temporarily aren't great in that moment. I do what my body is asking me to do, then get on with it.
Don't bother using your energy focusing on how others are dealing with their loss or PAL journey, because everyone is at a different stage in their story and there is no right or wrong way to get through this.
Click here to download my FREE '6 Tips To Help You Navigate Pregnancy After Loss' Guide.
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