Pregnancy Loss and Infertility
A supportive hand through your journey.
Our pregnancy loss and infertility therapists are here to guide you through your journey of grief and mourning while strengthening your relationships to prepare for the future.
Infertility counseling and pregnancy loss therapy (such as miscarriage counseling) are important and specialized forms of therapy for loss that is often hidden from and misunderstood by society. Fertility issues and/or pregnancy loss can leave one feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed, yet isolated, and in need of someone to talk to. Many women feel bonded to their unborn baby even very early in the pregnancy and report intense feelings of grief, anxiety, and depression, years beyond the loss of a pregnancy. Yet, society does not typically validate the loss of a pregnancy as real or provide outlets for mourning, making it hard for parents to grieve.
Pregnancy loss and infertility is never part of a woman’s vision of how she will become a mother. The loss of the unborn baby, her sense of self, relationships, and her hopes and dreams for the future can all feel devastating. Support persons often do not know how to comfort a grieving mother after a pregnancy loss and unintentionally pressure her to move on before she is ready. The grief associated with reproductive loss can interfere with a couples’ ability to communicate and maintain intimacy, making it even harder for grieving parents to receive the support they need.
Lastly, an unexpected new wave of grief can come over parents pregnant after a loss. Despite often being the desired and long sought after outcome, pregnancies following a loss, or history of infertility, are often characterized by depression, anxiety, or emotional detachment from the unborn baby for fear of another loss. Women sometimes struggle to mourn the loss of one baby while simultaneously welcoming another.
Infertility counseling is a highly-specialized field that involves knowledge in the medical, psychological, and interpersonal or relational issues that affect women and couples. Infertility counseling can help grieving mothers and their partners to cope with the many emotional, social, and relational challenges that accompany this unique type of traumatic loss.
Learn more about psychotherapy specific to pregnancy loss therapy and infertility counseling:
- Psychotherapy can help to grieve the loss of a pregnancy within a supportive environment.
- Psychotherapy can help women and their partners cope with the multitude of losses and stressors that may arise when experiencing reproductive health challenges.
- Psychotherapy can help grieving parents mourn their losses, to find meaning in loss, to strengthen their relationships and marriages, and to cope with future pregnancies.
- Psychotherapy can help parents pregnant after loss to work through feelings of anxiety, depression, and grief and to prepare for motherhood while managing feelings of anxiety alongside feelings of joy.
Interested to learn more about the research and practice of pregnancy loss therapy?
Attune psychologist Dr. Rayna Markin guest-edited a special section on this topic in the journal Psychotherapy, the official journal of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 29, the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. You can read Dr. Markin’s lead article for this section:
You can also read more about this topic in the May 2018 issue of the APA Monitor.