Guest Blog Topic by Emma Grace Brown: How to Manage Grief After a Stillbirth

© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog

We are once again pleased and honoured to be publishing our fourth guest blog from Emma Grace Brown. We first worked with Emma on a topic in 2020, 2021, and last year 2022. We are happy that Emma reached out to us in 2020 because all of the topics have been relatable to current life situations we go through and we value the information shared. For these reasons, we are very happy to be sharing this new topic with our readers.

Emma Grace Brown Bio:

Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules, and it works! When she’s not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they don’t have to mould themselves to conventionality.

Image Source: Pexels

How to Manage Grief After a Stillbirth

Losing a child to stillbirth is one of the most painful experiences parents can go through. In addition to managing the initial shock of bereavement, mothers also need to cope with the various physical changes their body experiences as a result of pregnancy. We at Grief Probate Journey can not begin to imagine the difficulties parents face in the aftermath of stillbirth and this article by Emma Grace Brown explores a few healthy ways to cope and work towards recovering mentally and physically.

Managing Guilt

During pregnancy, mothers take extra care of their health, which can involve eating healthy foods, taking appropriate rest, making regular doctor visits, and more. But, experiencing stillbirth even after taking all the right steps can understandably come as a shock and make you ask yourself – Did I do something wrong?

It is common for mothers to blame themselves for the stillbirth, but in-depth research by the Cleveland Clinic has shown that a third of cases do not have any underlying causes. While this can be a hard fact to digest, it is better to work towards accepting the situation, rather than finding ways to blame yourself out of guilt. Post-delivery, doctors will provide you the option of having an autopsy performed on the child. If you feel the need to seek answers regarding stillbirth, an autopsy can provide greater insights into the cause.

Find Closure

After the delivery, you’ll be allowed as much time as you need to spend with the baby, which provides the opportunity to share a few memorable moments with your child. This can include talking to them, taking family pictures, dressing them up, singing a lullaby, etc. While these activities may feel strange at the moment, in the future, they’ll serve as memories that help you find closure and make peace with the situation.

But, not everyone feels comfortable undertaking these activities, and if you feel that way, do not pressure yourself into partaking in them. Do what you’re comfortable with within the moment, whether that is grieving, talking to family, or requesting to be alone.

Coping with Grief

The five stages of grief are well known – denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. But as new research shows, these stages do not follow a chronological order. Hence, on some days you may feel peaceful accepting the situation, while on others you’ll experience constant denial. The key during grieving is to not force yourself to feel a certain way. At times when you feel overwhelmed, reach out to those close to you for support, this could include your spouse, parents, friends, etc.

Additionally, while exercise will be the last thing on your mind at the time, it can serve as the key to helping manage grief and gain control over your emotions. If possible, take a brisk walk around the neighbourhood with your partner daily, or incorporate a quick 15-minute home workout. When we exercise, the levels of serotonin, adrenaline, and oxytocin increase in the body, resulting in happier moods and alleviation of stress.

Similarly, maintaining a healthy routine and keeping your home clean will make it easier to manage grief. Simple tasks such as having a fixed sleep schedule, eating healthy three meals a day, and keeping your home clutter-free will provide you with some much-needed control over time and actions. This will help alleviate the feeling of being powerless and slowly build towards regaining good mental health.

Find Ways to Help Others

If you find yourself drawn to helping those who have gone through a similar situation, you may decide to start a business or launch a non-profit. This can be an excellent way to change up your career path while assisting others who have experienced the pain of stillbirth. Starting a business may sound intimidating, but there are many online tools and resources that can help get you started. For example, if you want to form an LLP, you can work with an online formation service that can assist you with all the necessary paperwork. It will still require a lot of hard work, but with your determination and resources like these, you can start making a difference.

Express Yourself

As reported by Verywell Mind, bottling up emotions puts a heavy strain on an individual’s mental and physical health. When it comes to grief, it is important to find healthy ways to express it. Along with reaching out to others, here are other ways parents can explore to express their emotions:

  • Writing a daily journal regarding their feelings and experiences
  • Undertaking a hobby such as painting, drawing, gardening, etc
  • Creating a scrapbook that can include pictures taken during pregnancy and in the hospital

While these tips can help you find comfort in difficult times, remember that there is no right or wrong way of dealing with grief. Take the time and space you need for coming to terms with the situation and don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones in a time of need.

The Grief Probate Journey blog talks about grief and about what we feel to be “The unknown”. Contact us today to learn more.

Image Source: Pexels

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