Mind, Body and Spirit Comfort to Ease Perinatal Loss

Losing someone you love is always challenging but losing a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss often feels unbearable. When a baby dies during pregnancy, delivery or early postpartum, there are multiple losses which include the loss of the hopes and dreams you had for this child, hopes and dreams for you as their parent, and postpartum hormonal and birth-related changes without a baby to hold in your arms to feel that it’s  still worthwhile.

Here are some suggestions to help ease your mind, body and spirit. Remember, none of these tips will take away your grief but perhaps allow you to have a little more physical energy, mental ability, and spiritual comfort to deal with your loss.

  1. Try to eat at regular intervals to keep your body fueled. Substitute more frequent snacking if that’s all you feel like and choose whatever sounds good. Stay well-hydrated. Take a multi-vitamin. Let others bring you food or pick up ready-made healthy meals.
  2. Take breaks which allow your body and mind to rest. Don’t push yourself to resume your “normal” schedule if you have the flexibility to slow down. Strike a balance between distracting yourself and always having something to do. Grief takes a toll on us body, mind and spirit, and it takes time to heal.
  3. Nourish yourself with pleasant experiences and sensations. Go for a walk in nature. Listen to soothing music. Light a candle. Take a warm bath or shower. Do some gentle exercise or yoga. If you have other children, play or spend time with them. You are not betraying your baby by choosing to participate in life.
  4. Be-friend yourself. Imagine what you would say to a good friend or loved one whose baby died. Would you judge them for their feelings? Would you tell them to stop having a tough time or be done with their grieving? Chances are “no.” Don’t treat yourself that way either.
  5. Don’t tell yourself that because your partner isn’t grieving in the same way you are, they don’t care. Men and women grieve differently. Women are generally more open with their feelings and men seem less emotional. Again, don’t judge or be critical. Acknowledge that grief is expressed by each person in his/her own way.
  6. When other people make comments which seem uncaring, don’t take it personally. Our culture is fairly unskilled at dealing with death. Often. we think we need to say something to make the grieving person feel better instead of listening. Comments like “it’s probably for the best or now they’re with God” may provoke anger when intended to be comforting.
  7. Seek out people who do understand and bring you comfort. Although friends and family my worry about you and want to stop by to talk, it is up to you who you want to see and when. Steer clear of people who aren’t helpful and trigger bad feelings. Also, you may not want to see pregnant relatives and friends or participate in baby-related activities (showers, first birthdays, etc). Give yourself a break and don’t go.
  8. Be grateful. This is especially challenging after losing your child. However, if we let ourselves, we may find something in the midst of our sorrow which helps us feel supported and loved. Although you may feel alone in the darkness, the light of a new day will dawn. It is the nature of life.

Take good care. Namaste.

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

By Kim Wolterman
By Kim Wolterman

If you’re anything like I am, you spend a lot of time in your head-thinking, imagining, obsessing, over-analyzing, etc. What I continue to learn, lately, is that to have greater peace of mind, I need to get back in my body and feel what’s going on there.

As I’m sitting on my porch responding to friends via e-mail, I can smell the hickory chips of our smoker burning in the backyard. I breathe deeply and savor the aroma. I look up from my keyboard and soak in the plush greenery across the road. I hear the birds chirping-so many different sounds and melodies. I feel the wind brushing my cheek. It’s a sensory buffet.

I’m back in my body and out of my mind. Living, breathing, sensing, feeling. It doesn’t last long until thoughts return. I “note” them and let them go lovingly, returning my attention to my senses and my body. Inhaling the moment one breath at a time, again and again.

To help you practice staying in your body and getting out of your head, click on this link to my mindfulness video, the body scan relaxation-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km42VBea9oc. Try it and let me know what you think.

Until next time remember, “Life is a journey. Stress less. Live better.”

Self-Care Challenge Day 2: The Mind-Body Connection

As we like to say at livingselfcare.com, “Self-Care is like chocolate. You can never have enough.” During this week’s self-care challenge we’ll bring you daily tips and inspiration with a chance to win prizes that pamper. Click here to learn more.


Welcome to The Self-Care Challenge, Day 2! These guest entries focus on the mind/body connection reminding us that what goes on in our minds has a significant impact on our bodies, whether we are aware of it or not!

Our first self-care tip was written by my (Stacey’s) mother, Nancy Lawrence. I cherish the talks we have, as she always has wise words of advice for me – when I ask for it! My mom has never pushed her ideas or advice on me, and I have always been grateful for her giving me the space I need to make mistakes and then helping me learn from them. Here’s her entry:

The difference between a thoughtful word and a thoughtless word is the difference between a lightning bug and a lightning strike. One word or phrase can uplift or beat down. Take the word “failure” for example. If you hear this word and it pertains to you, in that moment you have to make a choice.

Failure doesn’t exist, really. It’s always a lesson on what won’t work and the opportunity to alter your thinking to find out what does work. After all, we’d have no light bulbs if Edison had thrown in the towel! In the brief seconds after hearing a thoughtless word, the choice is yours: hang your head and feel awful; or find the lesson or the “silver lining.” There always is one!

Our second self-care tip is from Sue Suardi, a friend of Diane’s. If you ever find yourself talking yourself out of going to the gym (or running or skipping yoga class…), come back here and read Sue’s wonderful tip:

My friends and co-workers ask me why after a long day of work I bother working out.  I do it for myself.  I believe working out is not only healthy for me but also a release of the stress from the day.  Working out is not a chore for me but a gift to myself.  Sweating is a sweet release!

What great advice for our minds and our bodies! Stay tuned for more tips during our Self-Care Challenge Week!