Reproductive Loss

What is reproductive loss?

Reproductive loss is grief or loss after a miscarriage and abortion.  Some things you may not know about reproductive loss in the US:

  • One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage
  • One in 80 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth
  • One in six couples will experience problems with infertility
  • 20,000 domestic infant adoptions each year
  • One million elective abortions each year
  • One in four women will have an abortion by the time they are 45

I have experienced reproductive loss.

Experiencing reproductive loss can be very difficult and can feel isolating, but you are not alone!  Your experience is unique though and there is no right or wrong reaction or set of feelings.  There is no set timeline for processing emotions, grieving and healing.  There is always hope as you make your own journey towards healing.  If you are experiencing difficulty, you may need support such as:

  • Talk to someone you are close to, your partner, family member, or friend
  • Talk to a spiritual or professional counselor
  • For miscarriage, visit the anonymous website miscarriagehurts.com
  • For abortion, visit the anonymous website abortionchangesyou.com and/or visit Rachel’s Hope (Catholic healing retreats for women in San Diego and Imperial counties)
  • Honor the pregnancy loss- many find creating a memorial can help
  • Attend a bereavement group (contact parish office to help find a group in the diocese)

I Care – What do I do if someone shares their story of loss with me?

It is normal to feel confused on how to respond since this subject is rarely discussed.  Do not worry about ‘saying the right thing,’ just by listening compassionately you are a source of comfort and healing.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Acknowledge loss and emotions
  • Listen and resist temptation to ‘fix it’
  • Keep it confidential
  • Do not try to force healing
  • Be honest if you cannot provide support but offer other support resources

The Immaculata Staff Training

In response to this great need for healing the Immaculata staff and members of Bereavement ministry attended training hosted by the Diocesan Office for Family Life & Spirituality and Life Perspectives.  The Diocesan Office for Family Life & Spirituality staff formed a partnership with Life Perspective in 2018 and are now equipped to train others to be a Safe Place for those affected by reproductive loss.

Life Perspectives brings hope and healing to men and women impacted by reproductive loss including miscarriage and abortion. We provide safe, anonymous tools to begin healing as well as training to equip leaders and health care professionals to effectively provide support.

Miscarriage Hurts is a confidential space for men, women, family members and friends who have experience miscarriage. Miscarriage can be a very painful experience. It is sometimes confusing as the loss can be quite sudden. This interactive website provides a place to start or continue your healing journey.

“I think this resource is a great tool for priests, seminarians and for all parishioners. I think probably many of us have had the experience of someone sharing with us their loss where we felt unequipped to help. This training gives us the confidence to help those who have experienced a reproductive loss and that really becomes the gateway for a deeper healing.” ~Fr. Matt, The Immaculata Pastor