Losing a child—be it involving miscarriage, preterm labor, abortion, birth defects, stillbirth, or the death of a baby—is one of the most difficult life experiences we can have. The hope of having a healthy child is one shared by every family—when a child is lost, it is simply devastating. While similar to the grief we meet in other losses, the grief of losing a child is unique in many ways. The loss of a baby at or before birth can be particularly isolating and not well understood by others. Many of us suffer in silence and bear the weight of this overwhelming grief behind closed doors.
The intensity of perinatal loss is not governed by the length of the pregnancy or the child’s life—each time a fetus or baby does not survive and thrive is a monumental loss of life, a life just as important and cherished as any other.
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