Be aware that your body "grieves," too. It suddenly has to adjust hormonal levels and make other bodily changes. The further along you are, the more adjustments your body has to make. This "body grief" affects a woman who gives up a baby for adoption or has an abortion, too. Breasts leak and other body changes occur.
If you have a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death, ask your health care provider to explain to you as much as possible what happened. Ask what may have caused the loss and also clarify what didn't cause it--that glass of wine you had six months ago, or the chocolate bars you ate last week. The more you know of the details, the more likely it is that you will resolve your grief and move on.
It's normal to want to talk about a pregnancy, whether it ended happily or unhappily. Talking about it helps put it into perspective. If you want to talk to other women who also have had a pregnancy loss, contact one of the "Miscarriage" organizations in the Resource Directory at the back of the book. These organizations can also give you information on what other parents do when babies die, including holding the baby, taking pictures, and funeral arrangements.
Excerpt from Every Woman's Body
Copyright © 1994 by Diana Korte. This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Ballantine Books and is copyright protected under international copyright conventions. This excerpt may not be reproduced in any manner, including electronic, without prior written permission from the publisher.