Loss Community: Online & In-Person
Online and In-Person
Finding the PAIL community can be a life raft that keeps loss parents afloat. Being able to connect with fellow loss parents through social media, in support groups online and in-person, and then also meeting up with loss parents has been one of the greatest blessings (if there is such a thing) of this really terrible club. Below are some online and in-person ways to make connections. The phrase, worst club, best members, really does stand true. If you are unable to find a group in your area or online, reach out so we can help you to identify one.
PAIL Instagram Community
Shortly after Nathaniel died, I started searching IG hashtags for loss and grief. As I kept searching, it became clear that there was a huge community of loss parents going through the exact some things as me. Some with very recent losses and other who were further along on their journeys. I felt like I had found Narnia. And at the same time, being someone who is more introverted, the idea of "making friends" was exhausting to me, let alone online/through social media. It was hard to find the right words, how do you reach out, and how do you make meaningful connections with people you might never see in person? All I know now, months later, is that it is possible to build deep meaningful relationships. Not all loss parents you meet you'll connect with, but when you do, even if your stories are wildly different, these bonds can truly be life-saving. The first person I reached out to, I think I said, "Hi, I'm Sarah, my son also died in February. How are you doing? I'm falling apart..." - Sarah
Below just a few loss and grief Instagram accounts that I have found to be particularly helpful during my journey. There are many different types of pregnancy and infant loss accounts, some are more "general" loss accounts and some are more personal.
Please remember, behind every loss account is a real person, who is going the best they can on their own grief journey. If you'd like to make a recommendation for additional accounts you have found useful or would like to have your account featured, please reach out.
Featured Baby Loss & Grief Therapist
From Elle Margetson Bsc D.Hip GQHP GHRreg: I help loss mamas to navigate their grief, feel supported, seen and heard in order to find their new normal. I use a combination of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, coaching, and my own experience as a triplet loss mama to guide you on your grief journey through 1:1 sessions and my tried and tested programs for complete support while you grieve the loss of your baby/babies authentically and healthily.
Birth Injury Center
The Birth Injury Center is an advocacy organization. Our mission is to assist anyone who has been affected by a birth injury, and our website is a compilation of information about the different types of injuries. Obviously, experiencing this trauma can be mentally devastating. We wanted to do our part in helping victims of stillbirth by putting together an educational resource. We hope that some of the information in it, can make the process a tiny bit easier for parents. This resource includes information on intrauterine fetal demise, pregnancy and delivery complications.
Grieving Parents Support Network
The Grieving Parents Support Network (GPSNetwork) is a platform for you and other bereaved parents and those wanting to support them.As part of the vision for support and a better understanding of the grieving process of the bereaved, especially bereaved parents, I’ve created the Grieving Parents Support Network as a way for bereaved parents to find the support they need.The GPSNetwork is a hub where bereaved parents and their supporters can come, read, feel understood, rest, share, get information, get resources, learn, process grief, and find other bereaved parents to connect to.
Support Groups: Online
A pregnancy loss support chat 3x per month, and a separate group on pregnancy after loss 1x per month. Also offers in-person groups which can be found organized state-by-state.
Largely virtual support groups, but these state-by-state organized groups often offer in-person events as well.
Take a look at this fantastic resource list of already compiled online and in-person groups. Organized by state as well!
Facilitated online support groups, which include specific pregnancy support, pregnancy and trying to conceive after loss, and men's support groups.
Pregnancy and infant loss resources and support group for those in northern Kentucky and greater Cincinnati area.
A monthly zoom peer support group for loss parents which covers different topics agreed upon ahead of time.
Support Groups are solely for those in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA metro areas and surrounding communities. A short registration process is required to join Zoom meetings only. (No registration required for in person meetings.) Meetings are run solely by volunteers.
Online live chat, private Facebook groups, and online support groups for parents, grandparents, siblings, bereaved less than 3 years, pregnancy and infant loss
The HOPE Group is a peer support group for parents who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Winchester Hospital, in Winchester, Massachusetts, organized the HOPE Group over twenty years ago in response to the need voiced by parents to provide meaningful and caring methods of dealing with the crisis of the death of a child. The members of the HOPE Group want to help other parents endure those empty days and months because they know how hard they are.
Individual and Couples Counseling
Getting a therapist who specialized in perinatal and grief work was critical to my healing. Finding someone for yourself, your partner and yourselves as a couple can be essential to healing and supporting yourselves through trauma.
Below are a few different resources for finding a counselor/therapist in your area. When interviewing a therapist, it can be helpful to ask them some of the below questions to make sure they are the "right fit":
1. What experience do they have with pregnancy and infant loss?
2. How many individuals or couples have they supported with PAIL? What types of loss?
3. What is their view on grief and loss counseling?
4. When or do they see patients for non-grief-related topics? For example, one couples counselor just talks about how grief in relationships.
5. What techniques or theories does the therapist follow (if any) as it pertains to loss?
6. What loss/grief experiences has the therapist gone through that influence their practice?
Serving the greater metro area of Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Washington
Hospital social worker can help to connect you to local grief counselors
Google "grief", "perinatal," "infant loss" psychologists/therapist/counselor