Let’s Talk About It
Raising Awareness: Saturday, October 15, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day — which honors the individuals and families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, and other losses.
The loss of a pregnancy or infant is one many people have experienced firsthand — even if it doesn’t seem like it. Miscarriages (which technically means the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks) are most common, affecting up to 1 in 4 known pregancies. Stillbirths (or the loss of a pregnancy at 20 weeks or later) happen in about 1 in every 175 births. And infant loss affects thousands of people every year, with causes ranging from SIDS to pregnancy complications.
I had no idea.
That’s because, often, people process in silence. Today’s all about bringing the issue front and center — so people can feel more comfortable talking about it, whether in private or in public. And so friends and family can help in a way that’s most supportive. Because, let’s be honest, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do or say. That’s why we asked Skimm’rs who’ve experienced this kind of loss to share what helped…
Talk about it. Many said it was helpful to hear from other people who’ve had a similar experience. Others wished that talking about miscarriage was more common, so they could feel more at ease sharing their stories. That goes for men, too, who may also be grieving.
Respond mindfully. For many, phrases like, “You aren’t alone,” “It’s not your fault,” “I’m sorry,” “It’s okay not to be okay,” and “I love you, and I’m here for you” are important to hear. (As a general rule, it’s best to follow the person’s lead, but some who lost their infant said they also appreciated when people mentioned their child’s name or talked about their baby.) Others shared a few phrases that, while well-intentioned, can feel minimizing or hurtful, like, “If it was meant to be, it’ll happen” or “You can try again.”
Create time and space in other ways. Thoughtful actions (think: offering to walk their dog, bringing them dinner, doing their laundry) can make a big difference. Because it gives them additional time to process. And grieving can make day-to-day tasks especially tough.
Make sure to check in, and keep checking in. Many said it helped when friends and family asked how they were doing regularly (think: every few weeks, or even more often if you’re close) without the pressure to respond. Remember, grieving can be a long process.
It can sometimes be tough to know how to give and receive support after a pregnancy or infant loss. But the truth is that these experiences are much more common than many realize. So consider today a reminder to lift one another up — and shine a light on the issue all year long.
PS: If you’ve experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant, you can call or text the Postpartum Support International HelpLine at 1-800-944-4773 for resources.
Here’s a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…
How Colleen Hoover Rose to Rule the Best-Seller List…rather than taking a page from someone’s playbook, the cult-favorite author is paving her own way in the publishing world.
The Hidden Power of Coincidences…odds are, you’ll gain something from your next what-are-the-chances moment.
How Did Healing Ourselves Get So Exhausting?…why wellness feels like yet another thing on your to-do list.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.
A great weekend is as easy as apple pie — particularly now that apple picking season is in full swing. So grab your flannel and head to your local orchard, where you’ll likely find a wide variety of options (plus, apple cider doughnuts). For something sweet, check out Fuji, Empire, or Golden Delicious. For something tart, try Jonathan or Granny Smith. Or, if you prefer a bit of both, look for Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady. Worth noting: You’ll also be able to find many of these at any farmers’ market or grocery store.
Now, if you’re not sure what to do with your bounty, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your apple-a-day quota. You could whip up baked apple oatmeal or spiced apple pancakes for breakfast. You can add them to sandwiches (see: apple, cheddar, and chicken melts), salads (see: the kale salad), and even soups (see: avocado and green apple gazpacho). And, of course, there’s no shortage of apple desserts. Think: caramels and cobblers, tarts and turnovers, and — yes — plenty of pies.