When I read up on Baby Loss Awareness Week I think about how far we’ve come when it comes to mental health. I work for a large organisation and have seen over the past few years how mental health and wellbeing has started to be openly talked about and recognised as something anyone can go through.
Then I think about pregnancy and baby loss.
There are a few key similarities between mental health and baby loss;
- It’s an event or episode that happens to you (unexpected)
- It affects how to think, feel and behave
- It requires support and time to recover
To lose a baby, child or a loved one is so final – it’s irreplaceable. There isn’t a drug that can take the pain away or make it better. But there is support – healthcare professionals, counsellors and a network of other parents in a similar position who can make a difference and help. That’s why #BLAW2018 exists, to make sure we can talk about baby loss, like we can talk about mental health, cancer, LGBT, etc…
But it does need to go beyond that. I think workplaces need to do more. How can they help their employees who go through a similar thing and how can they support them when they return to work?
I found it hard going back to work (of course, anyone would). I was fortunate I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant, so could brush off my absence as the flu or a bug. But lying and saying those words only killed me inside. Why can’t I just say the truth?
#breakthesilence. That’s why.
Once we hear more and more about this topic, and women and men feel ok saying, “You know what, I’m not feeling great at the moment – I’ve just been through a miscarriage” then those who have gone through infant loss won’t have to carry the burden alone or feel like that can’t speak up and out for support.