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Perinatal loss: What you need to know and how we can help

Sad woman who just lost a pregnancy.

The unexpected loss of a pregnancy or baby can be a devastating experience for families, often leading to deep sense of loss and emptiness. Grieving is a painful process for everyone.

At The Mother Baby Center, we know the importance of empathetic care, especially for women suffering a miscarriage or loss. Our clinicians have been trained to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to families as a whole because miscarriages and loss don’t just impact women, they impact the entire family.

What is perinatal loss?

While many mothers and parents may feel at fault for the loss of a pregnancy or baby, it’s important to know that no one is at fault. We want to assure you, we are there for you through it—no matter what.

There are three different types of perinatal loss: Miscarriage, intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD) and stillborn.

  • Miscarriage: This is the spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week, most often before the 12th week.
  • IFUD: This is a fetal death after 20th week of pregnancy, with mother’s health not usually in danger.
  • Stillborn: This is the birth of a baby born without any signs of life at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Emotional impact of a loss

Grief is a complex process that is specific to each person—everyone grieves differently. That’s why it’s important to us at The Mother Baby Center to provide supportive resources for not only mom, but the whole family.

Mother’s emotional experiences can look like:

  • Extreme sadness.
  • Quiet, withdrawn.
  • Potential suicidal ideas and feelings of emptiness.
  • Isolation, anger, mood changes and irritability.
  • Some moms have difficulties being around pregnant women and infants.

A partner’s emotional experiences can look like:

  • Isolation.
  • Restlessness.
  • Anger.
  • Sadness.
  • Powerlessness.
  • Concern for partner’s wellbeing.

How can The Mother Baby Center help me and my family through a perinatal loss?

The Mother Baby Center offers the highest-level expert care you and your family deserve. And when the unexpected happens, we offer support to families dealing with a loss or a difficult diagnosis.

Support groups

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group

Joining a pregnancy and infant loss support group can be very helpful for a variety of reasons. Parents tell us that support groups:

  • Offer them a place to talk about their child in a safe setting.
  • Connect with other bereaved parents to get and give support.
  • Give reassurance that their grief is a normal reaction to their deep sense of loss.

Bereaved parents share a natural, yet difficult, bond, and it enables them to support and encourage each other in a very unique way.

Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health offer support groups (now virtual due to COVID-19) for pregnancy and infant loss.

Learn more about our Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group.

CALM Moms

Nothing prepares mothers for the overwhelming experience of their child’s hospitalization. Moms of babies currently in the NICU/SCN/ICC and CVCC units are encouraged to come to this free group to share experiences and to learn useful skills.

Learn more about our CALM Moms support group.

Other ways we can help

Bereavement coordinators

We have bereavement coordinators that facilitate groups for women and their partners who have experienced loss, whether that’s a miscarriage or the death of a child.