Support Groups, Counsellors and Therapists for Pregnancy Loss In Singapore
Nothing can compare the pain of losing your child, but you don’t have to grieve alone. Reach out and seek help from the many counsellors and support groups to help you better deal with the trauma.
For parents dreaming and planning of a wonderful future with their baby, stillbirth or miscarriage can come as a devastating shock. It is heart-breaking and may sometimes lead to depression and/or other challenges. However, coping with grief effectively and getting help dealing with the situation may be the best tribute you can offer the baby you just lost. Along with providing advice, healthcare professionals and/or counsellors may direct you to a grieving mothers’ support group and offer you specific reading material to deal with this pain.
Miscarriage, Stillbirths and Their Causes
Grieving mothers’ support group
In Singapore, almost 25% of pregnancies end up in a miscarriage, whereas there are 2 stillbirths per 1000 births.
What are some of the reasons for miscarriage? When the foetus doesn’t develop due to chromosomal or genetic disorders, the pregnancy gets naturally terminated within the 12th week. Older parents and low progesterone levels are other reasons for naturally terminated pregnancies. Some medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, uncontrolled diabetes and autoimmune diseases affect the health of pregnancy as do, stress and over-indulgence in alcohol and caffeine.
Symptoms of miscarriage that should prompt a visit to your doctor are:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Excessive fluid or tissue discharge from the vagina
- Pain or abdominal cramps
- Gnawing dull pain in your lower back
While backache and cramps may be non-serious pregnancy side-effects, it would be wise to get it checked out by a medical practitioner who would then rule out any abnormal issues by performing a few tests.
Stillbirth is be classified as loss of pregnancy early, late or term, depending on when it happens. If foetal death occurs between weeks 20 and 27 of the pregnancy, it is considered an early stillbirth. A late stillbirth occurs when the foetus is between weeks 28 and 36 old. A term stillbirth occurs during week 37 or beyond of the pregnancy.
The reasons why stillbirth occurs are sometimes unexplainable, but here are a few known causes of stillbirth:
- Complications during labour and delivery
- Maternal conditions (like high blood pressure or diabetes)
- Birth defects or abnormalities
- Placental problems (like placental abruption or when the placenta separates from the womb)
- Umbilical cord issues
- Growth restriction (baby’s growth slows or stops during pregnancy)
- Trauma faced by the mother
- A pregnancy that lasts for longer than 42 weeks
Grieving mothers’ support group: Life After a Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Moving on after a miscarriage or a stillbirth is a very painful process, and recovery is often a path that will have many steps.
The most immediate concern would be your medical care and handling of other formalities.
A doctor will do pelvic examination and ultrasound tests to confirm a miscarriage and suggest further procedure.
Stillbirth may require handling of funeral rites, burial or cremation. Some hospitals help or arrange for the procedure. A further investigation of the cause of stillbirth will be needed to avoid further losses, as future pregnancies after a stillbirth is usually considered high risk and will be monitored closely.
Loss of pregnancy may make you want to crumble in despair, and you are entitled to feel all that pain, rage, and more. Do not hurry into trying to move on, and instead try to accept the loss and heal yourself utilising the resources that are available to you.
Lean on your partner: Remember that you are in this together. Even though you may sometimes feel lonely in facing this loss since you carried the baby, your partner lost a child as well. He needs to heal too. Offer each other much-needed support, and try to face this ordeal together as a team.
Go for counselling: You may often find yourself overwhelmed by emotion and pain, and it would be wise to seek professional help and advice to deal with the avalanche of feelings that you are no doubt experiencing. Reach out to a counsellor, therapist or support groups, who are all there to help you and offer assistance.
Strong support system: Surround yourself with empathetic people, that radiate positivity and offer you support. Try to reach out and interact with others who have gone through similar losses. Community and societal support is crucial to most. Look up the many avenues of grief support available to you, through the myriad of grieving mothers’ support groups where you may be able to resonate with similar parents and their stories.
Visiting the doctor: Don’t lose hope in future pregnancies. Be in contact with your doctor to work on any existing medical issues, so that they can be solved early, if any.
Grieving Mothers Support Groups in Singapore
Postpartum blues can even affect mothers who experience live births. Therefore, mothers who experience stillbirths are at an added risk of developing mental health problems.
And fathers are equally prone to the grief as well, that can be overwhelming to handle and manage by yourselves. You will have good days and bad days, and there is no deadline or timeline for your grief to subside. Take as much time as you need to deal with your emotions, and try leaning into receiving support from the community.
Here is also where counsellors and support groups come in. In the presence of people who have been through similar experiences, it may be a relief to share your story and you may find it therapeutic to release all the pent-up emotions within you.
Compiled below is a list of support groups, both online and in Singapore:
- Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Child Loss Support Group by theAsianparent – A closed group for women who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth and/or child loss, that are looking to share their experience with others who understand them, offer a shoulder to cry on to other women who have experienced such loss, or a way to move forward, and heal.
- Child Bereavement Support (Singapore) – This group supports loss from miscarriage and stillbirth.
- KK Hospital Women’s Mental Wellness Service – A highly qualified team of counsellors and psychiatrists help bereaved mothers. They allow self-referrals too.
- NUH Women’s Emotional Health Service – Multidisciplinary service for women including mental health.
- Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Support and Education Group – A group providing a holistic approach towards pregnancy-related health issues. Contact them at +65-6394-3739.
- The Choolani Clinic – Located in Mount Elizabeth Novena hospital, it aims at providing emotional care for pregnancy loss. Call them for an appointment at +65-6570-2000.
- Stillborn Photography – You may want to explore the idea of stillborn photography if you are interested in preserving a photograph of your baby, or other keepsakes.
- Art of Life – Blog and books about conceiving after a miscarriage, and being grateful for new beginnings while being able to mourn the loss of other children.
- PALS: Pregnancy After Loss Support – Online peer-moderated support groups
- Child Bereavement Support (Singapore) – A network of bereaved parents offering support to anyone whose child has passed away, by way of meetings, support groups
- Angel Hearts – A group to help mummies who have suffered a loss to work through their grief by sewing and crafting. They also provide ‘angel gowns’ appropriate for dressing babies who have passed prior to the funeral.