In response to trauma, loss, and unexpected complications in birthing mothers, infants, and children, many families struggle with powerful and overwhelming shock, pain, grief, and devastation. In addition to how intense and consuming these experiences may be, many families may feel quite alone and isolated, as though no one quite understands exactly what they are going through or how difficult it is. Well-intentioned loved ones may also exacerbate feelings of sadness, anger, self-blame, and guilt in their attempts to be supportive.
If you are experiencing any of the following, please know that help is available. Therapy can help you feel less alone and more understood, and make life more livable and these painful experiences more bearable.
- Difficulty with conceiving and infertility
- Pregnancy losses, including miscarriages, stillbirths, terminations, and neonatal deaths
- Unexpected medical complications in infants and children, including cancer and other illnesses, genetic and/or chromosomal abnormalities, and physical or mental disabilities
- Challenges related to premature births, “failure to thrive,”* feeding difficulties, and/or developmental delays
- Unexpected complications in birthing mothers (e.g., traumatic birth experiences, birth injuries, medical issues or complications during labor or the postpartum period)
- Activation or triggering of trauma history and trauma reminders in response to pregnancy, labor and delivery, nursing, and parenting
- Relationship tension and conflict in the context of any of the abovementioned stressors
*Although “failure to thrive” is a term commonly used in the medical world, we know that this term can be very painful for families and exacerbate the stigma and self-blame they may already experience. We don’t endorse the use of this term for all families for this reason, but use it here to call attention to the negative impact it can have on families.*