Spiritual Support

The loss of a pregnancy can trigger intense feelings and reactions that can potentially impact every aspect of a parent’s life. Spirituality is one of them. Women and men are often struck by questions like these: How could God have let this happen to us? Did I do something to deserve this even though I try to be a good person? Where is God in my suffering? Can I be angry with God? Am I being punished?

It is important to remember that you may also feel conflicting emotions. One moment you may feel comforted by God (or whomever you name as your higher power), but the next you may feel disappointed, alone or betrayed. Whatever you feel is not right or wrong: It’s what you feel in this moment. Be cautious of what others tell you that you “should” feel. No one can know the pain you are facing like you do. There can never be enough preparation for all that you have been through. It is also complicated to grieve for what could have been. Try to be gentle with yourself and those you love.

You and your partner (as well as other family members) may be reacting differently to the loss, and that, too, can be unsettling. It is often hard to express the depth of what you are experiencing to anyone else, especially someone who might be well meaning but who says things that aren’t helpful (e.g., “God doesn’t make mistakes” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” or “God has a plan, even if we can’t understand it”).

Don’t be ashamed of your feelings. What you feel is a reaction to who you are, what has happened to you, and where you are at this stage in your life. How you choose to act on the feelings you have is where your power lies.

If you feel that you need more support, reach out to someone you trust who can hear whatever you need to say. This may be clergy or a therapist, or it may be a loving friend. If you feel that the best thing you can do is to immediately jump back into your life and move forward, do so. Take the time you need to remember and mourn. You know yourself better than anyone else and the only timeline to follow is your own.

Be patient with yourself and trust that God will walk this way with you. Reach out in prayer, or whatever way is most meaningful to you. Spirituality can be explored in many ways. Journaling, painting, drawing, or immersing yourself in nature with hikes or gardening (once you have been medically cleared by your provider) are activities that can be relaxing and healing for the soul. Know that you are not alone. Let yourself be loved. Sometimes, when hearts break, they break open, and you may find that as you grieve your loss, you are led deeper into your own life and faith.

Next Steps
Forget me not flowers

Loss Resources

If you have experienced a loss in pregnancy or loss of a child, we hope you’ll find these resources helpful to you during this difficult time.

Pregnant Mom with Dad Hands on Belly

Perinatal Palliative Care and Bereavement

CHOP offers perinatal palliative care services to support families who learn that their baby is at high risk of dying either before or shortly after birth.