The sudden or unexpected loss of a pregnancy can be very stressful and comes with many different emotions and responses. It can often feel overwhelming to find a way through these feelings and it may feel like help is not easily available.This section will review emotions and feelings that are common with pregnancy loss. You’ll find information on ways of caring for yourself, where resources are, how to access them and what to do if you feel that you need extra help.

Pregnancy loss can occur at any point during pregnancy. When a loss happens early in the pregnancy (before 20 weeks) it is sometimes referred to as miscarriage or abortion. Terms such as fetal death, intrauterine death or stillbirth are often used when a baby dies after 20 weeks gestation.

Each pregnancy loss is a personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to feel or grieve. The gestation of the baby and the circumstances around your loss can influence how you grieve.You may be able to identify or describe some of your emotions or it may be difficult to acknowledge your feelings or to talk about them with others.

Some feelings or emotions you may have include:

-crying and sadness











You may find that you are not sleeping well, your appetite may increase or decrease, and it may be hard to focus on everyday tasks. This can be a normal part of the grief process in the first few weeks.

Sharing your feelings with people who are your supports can be very helpful. Families and friends often want to help but may be unsure what would be helpful for you. Try to ask for company if you need it or ask for help with everyday tasks. And it’s okay to say no to suggestions if they don’t feel like what you need.

Taking some time off work can be helpful. There is a recovery process going on physically and emotionally and it’s a time to be gentle with yourself.

Journaling can be helpful by freely writing down your feelings. This can help give you some clarity to your emotions and can help create some self-understanding when your world might feel overwhelming and chaotic. Try not to judge what you write down.

Finding some time for self-care is important, as gentleness and kindness towards yourself helps with healing. Meditation (there are free apps if you are new to this), practicing yoga, and being outside in nature has been shown to help with grief.

If you are feeling depressed and/or anxious and continue to find it hard to function with everyday activities, talk with your health care provider or public health nurse for additional guidance.

Treatment with medication, a self-care plan and counselling can help support your recovery.

The loss of a pregnancy is a unique loss, affecting you as well as your family. Partners, siblings and other family members often have their own journey of grief. Chat groups and sharing experiences with other families can be comforting and supportive.

Postpartum Support International offers online support groups and helpful information that all Canadians can access.

Chatting with a peer support about mental health can also be helpful.