Surviving the loss of a baby no matter the reason or how far along you are, can feel isolating. Finding support and community with others who have walked through similar experiences won’t change the devastating outcome of your loss. However, listening to and sharing with others who are walking through a miscarriage or the loss of a baby helps many parents feel less alone.
While gathering in large in person groups may not be possible due to COVID-19, there are several online resources and support groups to consider. Online support groups and web communities offer access to support no matter where you live.
If you have recently experienced a loss and finding help feels overwhelming- consider sharing this article with a friend or family member who is asking how they can help. Ask them to look through these options to help narrow down the options for support to one or two they think could be a good fit for you and your specific circumstances and needs.
Support for Pregnancy & Infant Loss
Online Support for Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Infant Loss
Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) offers 14 closed, moderated, peer support groups through Facebook. Each group offers a virtual community that strives to bring individuals, couples or families together that can relate to unique and shared aspects of the circumstances surrounding your loss.
Star Legacy Foundation provides support for parents and families navigating perinatal loss or stillbirth. They have online support groups that address bereaved parents, parenting after a loss, grandparents, and dad’s specifically. Support groups are free and facilitated by a trained professional. Their website is full of information and resources that can be help those navigating a loss, or trying to support a loved one who is going through it.
In Person Support for Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Infant Loss in Texas
Bo’s Place– Houston, Texas
Bo’s Place is located in Houston, Texas. They specialize in grief support, and offer grief support groups, including one for pregnancy or infant loss. They also offer grief support groups for children and other adults, that may be helpful for family members like siblings or grandparents who are in need of support. Currently due to COVID-19, they are offering many of their groups virtually in an online format.
M.E.N.D. offers online and in person support throughout the United States. They have local chapters in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Bryan/College Station, and San Antonio- many of which have private Facebook groups and online support specific to those living in a certain community. M.E.N.D. also offers a national online support group. Their website contains additional information and resources that may be helpful to those who have experienced a stillbirth, a miscarriage or the death of an infant.
The Compassionate Friends support families after a child dies, including those who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. There are local chapters throughout the state of Texas, including San Angelo, Austin, Abiline, Katy and Houston. They also have online support groups and resources which can be found on their website.
A Word on Terminations for Medical Reasons (TFMR)
Unfortunately even within the loss community, division exists around losses that involve medical complications and diagnoses that are often catastrophic or incompatible with life for the baby and/or the mother. Dr. Jessica Zucker writes, “These losses often get shrouded in the silence, stigma, and shame that surround other pregnancy losses, and get additionally stigmatized by the virulent politicization of abortion.” As a result of the political and religious stigma and shame often associated with abortion, parents who have just experienced the trauma and devastation of loosing a wanted pregnancy, will feel forced to lie to friends, family and others.
The reality is, being honest about a “choice” to terminate a pregnancy may cost them their relationships and support. There may never be a greater time for support than after experiencing the death of a child. What is already an isolating experience becomes even more so when bereaved parents cannot freely share their full and complete experience with grief.
Online Support for TFMR
Ending a Wanted Pregnancy offers a website full of information, and a private, secret, closed Facebook group. All of their resources are navigating decision making and/or grief related to terminations for medical reasons.
Terminations Remembered offers online support and community for families who have experienced a termination for medical reasons. You can read stories of others who have walked through similar grief. And you can share your story if you choose to.
Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) offers a private, moderated Facebook group for those who are pregnant following TFMR. Members are admitted to the group through an application process, to ensure the group remains a safe and supportive space.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your loss, it’s important to know you and the grief you’re feeling matters. It’s okay if you don’t feel okay right now. You are not alone.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Counseling in Texas
Anne Russey Counseling provides counseling for miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss or termination for medical reasons. Contact Anne for additional information, for a free consultation or to schedule an initial appointment. Online counseling is available to anyone within the state of Texas.