Why I'm Learning About Loss
I can't help it - I'm a serial learner. Before starting Nested Mama, I was an academic, and I thrived devouring books and articles. I loved the work of teaching at the university level because I was constantly learning from my students as well as uncovering new depths in the subjects I taught.
Becoming a doula and educator in sleep, childbirth, and breastfeeding hasn't changed my insatiable desire to learn. If anything, the one-on-one support of parents as they navigate one of the most beautiful and challenging transitions of their lives heightens the need to bring more knowledge and skill to the table.
While welcoming a new bundle into the home can be a time of joy, it can also be a time of remembrance where old hurts or the empty arms of loss come alongside those waves of joy.
Statistical estimates of miscarriage suggest that 1 in 4 women will experience a loss.
1 in 4.
And, this number doesn't include stillbirth or those who lose a little one in the days or weeks after birth.
That means if you have not experienced a loss yourself, you won't have to look far for a family member or a friend who has or will experience loss in pregnancy or shortly thereafter. And, because our culture offers little space to speak about and process and remember these losses, you may not even be aware the full extent of the losses experienced by those you hold dear.
That also means when we support families, we need to do better.
I need to do better, too.
This winter and spring I'll be working my way through a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Advocate (P.A.I.L) Training. Once complete, this will count toward certification as a Loss and Bereavement Doula. On this topic, I know I have so very much to learn, and as I do, I hope to share a bit from time to time in this space.
Because we can all do better.
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Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.