We’re talking all about some tips to help you during your pregnancy after loss today!
Grab your free 99 PAL journal prompts right here!
We know that our thoughts create our feelings, but choosing intentionally to move our thoughts towards other things besides focusing on all we are scared of can be really helpful during pregnancy after loss. I’ve got 10 great, practical ideas that worked for me (plus one bonus idea!) and I hope they help you on your PAL journey, or even on your grief journey.
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Music provided by ZingDog / Pond5
Welcome to episode 20. If you’re new here, let me introduce myself. My name is Amy and I have two angel babies and six living kids, and I have been through the whole ups and downs of all of it. A sober birth, a miscarriage, pregnancy after loss, raising kids, dealing with their grief, all of it. And I am also a certified life coach through the life coach school, which is the best.
School ever, and I just love teaching you tools. So if you’ve had a loss, I’m so sorry, but I’m so glad that you found me. Today. I’m gonna give you some tips about pregnancy after loss. Pregnancy after loss is, So near to my heart, it was really tough for me to tell you the truth, but now I’m able to be here and be able to help you.
So hopefully it’s not as hard for you as it was for me because I do think it’s possible to have a great pregnancy even after a loss or multiple losses. And I also believe that no matter what the outcome is, You are going to be okay because I also lost one of my rainbows and I’m here and I’m okay. So I want to be an example and tell you that it is possible.
Now, when we do thought work, I. We know using the model that our actions never create our feelings. Now, this is what a lot of people believe, though. If we do things, it’ll help us feel better, or if we do other things it will feel worse, but our feelings always come from our thoughts. But today’s episode is a lot of actions I don’t coach on often.
But these are just some things that helped me during my pregnancy after loss. And the reason they help us can be because it gives us an opportunity to focus on something besides being scared or worried, which is kind of what we do when we’re pregnant after a loss, right? And it’s sometimes easier to manage our thoughts when we’re not dwelling on all those fears.
So when we. Think thoughts that help us create emotions that are going to move us into these actions, that’s when we’re gonna feel better, is because of what we’re creating in our mind. And then what we’re doing is a byproduct of that. I have 10 things that I think are really gonna help you, and I’m just gonna jump right into them.
Now. This one’s been said before. But it’s because it’s truly important and I think it really does help so much, which is exercising and eating well. Now for a lot of us pregnant after loss, the first thing we think about exercise is it’s really scary because what if I hurt the baby? Or what’s safe or what?
What can I do? And we have all these questions and sometimes we’re really sensitive to this. We just don’t want to cause any problems with the pregnancy. So we pull back and we don’t take care of our body. But the first thing you wanna do is make sure you talk to your doctor and find out what is okay for you, depending on your situation and what’s going on.
And then know that most exercise for most pregnant people is totally safe and. So much better for you than sitting on the couch being scared and never moving your body. So what we wanna do is exercise as a way to bless our body, as a way to move our body, as a way to take care of our body and our baby.
And we also know that when we exercise, we let all these happy hormones out that are going to help boost our mood and help us deal with. The things again that are going on inside of our mind. I, when I was pregnant, had a friend, it was my last pregnancy, my last Rainbow baby, and she was starting a bootcamp in the morning.
It was one of those, you get up at six, everybody goes to the park. It was like interval training. It was pretty intense, but I decided to go support her and I really wanted to be healthy that pregnancy because, Because of a lot of factors. I knew I would probably be kind of a high risk pregnancy and I wanted to do everything I could to help that baby.
And so I went to the bootcamp and it was a little bit crazy and I definitely adjusted a lot for being, I think I was around, I was in the middle of my pregnancy, like in the. 20 to 30 weeks. And so I did have a belly, but I was feeling good and it was actually really fun to just get out, smell the fresh air, you know, move my body.
And I know that as that pregnancy progressed, I did end up with preeclampsia and a bunch of things. But staying healthy at the beginning I definitely think helped me. Something that everyone can do is walking, and walking is one of the best exercises. There is a lot of times we think we have to go to the gym or we have to be doing some crazy workouts.
You really don’t. Walking is the best, and for most of us, we can do that when we’re pregnant. Something that helps me is to have a walking buddy, and this helps in two ways. One, you’re accountable. Now I teach that we ought to keep commitments to ourself like we do to another person, but definitely having someone else there helps keep you going when on those days when you don’t wanna do it.
And you get someone to talk to, either talk about what’s going on during your pregnancy and kinda let some of that out, or also just talk about other things. ’cause again, our brain is so focused on. Worrying that giving it something else to talk about can be a great thing to do. Think about something that you can do even a little bit.
A lot of times we have this all or nothing. I have to work out five times a week or it doesn’t count, but it doesn’t, any little movement you can do, just go for it. It’s gonna help you in so many ways. And with our eating. We’ve talk about this a lot. I’m not gonna get deep into what you should eat or not eat or or anything.
I am just gonna say, make sure you drink lots of water and then watch out for buffering. And buffering is when we’re eating or drinking things as a way to escape our feeling. So if you are feeling worried or whatever, and you just find yourself. Eating things that aren’t gonna fuel your body, then just keep an eye out for that.
Definitely. Pregnancy is its own situation where we can be really sick. Maybe the only thing that sounds good is something that wouldn’t be deemed as healthy. I am all for eating whatever you can handle, especially in that first trimester. But just watch out and be aware of why you’re eating. Are you eating ’cause you’re physically hungry or are you eating because you’re trying to get away from some feelings?
All right. The second tip I have is reading other people’s stories. When I was pregnant, I found online some blogs I found. Pregnancy after Loss support is a great website, and at the time it was pretty new. And I remember following, they have Bump Day blogs and I would follow along with some of the people that were pretty close to where I was in my pregnancy.
And it was a great way to just know that what I was thinking, what I was feeling, what I was going through was pretty normal and pretty typical, and I could see. Their successes and watch them as they progress in their pregnancy. And it just was a great thing to do, um, just to read other people’s stories and that helps us to realize that we are not alone and that thought, I’m not alone.
That can really bring a lot of comfort. On the same vein is joining pregnancy after loss groups. There are. Baby loss support groups, pregnancy after loss support groups. There are regular mom groups that you can find on the internet, wherever, and there’s even due date groups. I know a lot of the bigger pregnancy websites will have due date forums where you can be in a group with people who are at the same stage of pregnancy as you are, and you can go through that pregnancy with them.
This can be. Really helpful, really fun, and can be a great thing to do. It can also be too much at times if you feel like you need to leave a loss group or if you don’t wanna be in a pregnancy after loss group, because there’s a lot of fears and things in there being expressed. That is totally fine. I wanna give you a hundred percent permission to leave groups if you don’t find that they’re helping your mental health.
That’s. Loving you, that’s advocating for you and doing what’s right for you, and you do not have to feel guilty at all. You do what works for you. For me, when I was pregnant, I did pull back a lot from those and I just kept a few things. Like I said, I would read the blogs or I had a few people that I.
Kept up on, but overall, stepping back from loss groups really did help me as I focused on me, my family, and my baby. And that is a hundred percent okay to do. It doesn’t have to mean anything about you. You’re not leaving anyone behind. It’s just having your own back. All right. Uh, my next tip number four is plan a babymoon or a family trip before baby comes.
It can be really hard to look ahead during a pregnancy after loss. And there’ll be a whole bunch of what ifs. Well, what if I end up on bedrest or what if the baby comes early? Or what if I lose the baby? And I don’t wanna go on this trip anymore? But I want you to just set aside those what ifs and know that you will figure it out.
If any of those things come up, you can adjust your trip. You can cancel it later, but plan something. It’s an important time in your life and it’s really fun to reconnect with your spouse or your kids and just do something before you have a newborn. So plan it. It gives you something to look forward to.
Again, it gives you something else to put your mind on, and it can be just really, really fun. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Plan something you can do that maybe you wouldn’t do normally. Like get creative with it and have fun with it. And if it’s hard for you, that’s okay.
Maybe just push yourself a little to try something new, to go somewhere you’ve never been before and to really believe that you could make it. To this point and be able to go and have this really great memory with the people you love. My next tip is journaling or doing thought downloads, which is something we do a lot in coaching and many of us do journal now, or we did when we were younger.
Maybe we used to be better before life got crazy. I know that’s how it is for me. Even posting on social media is. A bit of a modern journal where we share what’s going on in our lives. When I was pregnant after loss, journaling was a lifesaver for me. When I had all the crazy thoughts swirling in my head, I could write them down and sometimes I would cry as I let everything out.
Sometimes I would allow myself to hope and dream that things I couldn’t say out loud and I would smile. I could put them on paper even when I couldn’t talk to anyone about them. I kept a record of that time that I can now look back at. Now you don’t have to write every day or write huge, multiple page entries, but having a place to get your thoughts onto paper is just invaluable.
So I was thinking a lot about this and I know that so many people really struggle to bond with their baby and they don’t allow themselves to dream about the future or the nursery colors. Making a birth plan. So I created something that’s gonna help you. I put together an entire page full of 99 journal prompts to get you going, and I think that that was as many as I could squeeze onto one page of A P D F.
So it’s. Really simple to print. It’s totally free and it’s on my website. If you go to smooth stones coaching.com, uh, you should see a button that’ll say 99, pregnancy after lost prompts. I will also put the link right in the show notes. If you just swipe up when you’re listening to the podcast, you should be able to get to the show notes and I’ll have the link right there if that’s easier for you.
You can download it and print it, or you can just keep it on your phone. It has simple things to write about and it also has some deeper questions to get you thinking. There are even a few challenges for you to try. And the reason I thought this would be so valuable to you is I know that it can be hard to push past the anxiety and the uncertainty of it all, and.
Again, we sometimes have this all or nothing mentality. If we think about journaling, like we just get in our own way of just doing something that could be really helpful. So this is just a nudge to get you started, to get you thinking about the future. Because I know how much we wanna be happy when we’re pregnant after loss.
We want to be excited about the pregnancy. And so just taking a few minutes a day using these prompts to direct your thoughts in a little bit of a different way is going to help you do that. So definitely head over to smooth Stones coaching.com. Or if you follow me on Instagram, it should be there too in my.
Link in my bio, Amy Smooth Stones Coaching. All right, tip number six is to do some service. Now, this could look any way you want it to look, but service is such a good way. Again, to get your mind off of yourself and your own problems and really focus on other people and creating some love and creating some happiness for you.
And doing good things for them. It’s just a total win-win situation. And when I was pregnant, I sewed a lot. I sewed for a charity called Teeny Tears, and they make little hats and blankets and diapers for angel babies. When I was sewing, I was thinking about other people. I wasn’t thinking about me. I was focused on keeping my line straight and my seams and.
And it was just a great time to do something in honor of Lauren and to help other people. And so you can do random acts of kindness. You can serve within your family, right? Think about other things you could do for your spouse, your children, anyone you can think of. It could be putting together kits for homeless people.
Right. The list is endless and you know, but I want you to just open up your mind after you listen to this and just think, what could I do for other people? How could I help? What can I do for others? And just put your thoughts towards others and it can really help lift your spirits. All right. Next is having a couple of friends you can reach out to.
This was. So important to me as I went through my loss and pregnancy after loss. A lot of times we have this idea that the whole world and all the people in our lives should be extra sensitive and extra helpful and, and take care of us during pregnancy after loss. But that thought really can be a problem for us because people.
Generally don’t do what we want them to. Right? We had the whole podcast episode on manuals. So when we have this idea, which seems really, really nice, right? People should be extra helpful to me when I’m pregnant after loss, they should know how hard it is and they should take care of me. But you can take care of yourself and all you need is a couple of friends you can reach out to.
And tell the truth to, right. A lot of the times we just say we’re fine, or people assume that we should be excited we’re pregnant and maybe we’re not feeling excited, but we have a couple of friends that we can tell the truth to, that we can reach out to when we’re having tough days or when we’re going in for a scan and we just need someone to talk to.
That is something I really recommend is just quality, not quantity. Reach out to people, whether it’s someone you know in real life, someone close to you, or it can be someone you’ve met on the internet. That’s one of the best things about the online community is there’s people that maybe would’ve never met in person, but we can get to know them online and really have someone to be there and support you.
So definitely think about. Quality, not quantity. My next tip is to think about what you can hire out so that you can take care of you. In our Western society, we do not ask for help nearly enough, and as moms and as women, we do not invest in ourselves, right? We would go and spend all kinds of money on.
Snacks that our kids need at Costco, but we would never hire a housekeeper or we would never pay someone to come watch our kids so that we could go for a walk. That’s just not how we are. We think maybe if we were rich, if we were a celebrity, like those people have help, but I need to be able to do it all by myself, and that can be just exhausting in so many ways.
So what can you hire out? So you can take care of you. Take care of yourself physically. Like I said, giving yourself time to work out, take care of yourself emotionally and mentally. Invest in you. Really think about the value if getting a babysitter for a couple hours a week so that you can even take a nap, that is worth it.
We’ve got to take care of ourselves. And pregnancy after loss especially, you really have to advocate for you. So think about it, what is something that you can delegate? Um, even those meal boxes, they’re expensive, but is making dinner something that’s really hard for you at the end of the day? I know it was.
Something that was tough for me, I would just be exhausted or I wouldn’t feel like eating or whatever. How can you delegate that? Even if it ends up being you talk to your husband or you talk to your older kids and you say, mom’s not gonna cook all these nights and just. Figure out ways you can take a little bit off your plate so you can focus on what’s really important.
And when you focus on what’s really important, a lot of the other stuff becomes easier. My next tip is to have a prayer or a breathing or a meditation practice that you do every day. And this is different for everyone. Prayer is a huge part of my life, and. I know that it can be really helpful for some people.
You might be in a place where you don’t wanna pray, and I’ve been there too. But if you are a person of faith and maybe you haven’t felt like praying, try again to pray, to have a daily devotional. Read your scriptures. Focus on something higher than yourself, and remember that there is someone who. Cares about you and cares about your baby and is there for you.
You can also do breathing exercises. This also helped me, and some of them can be really, really simple, especially if we’re feeling a lot of anxiety. You can just breathe in and out, just count. There’s tons of great apps and um, different things that you can find to help you with that to breathe and relax.
And on another note with that, sometimes it’s not helpful. I know sometimes breathing exercises just did not cut it for me again, because the things we do aren’t gonna create emotions for us. So it is all about what’s in our mind. But I think breathing exercises do help quiet some of those thoughts and help us refocus and bring us back down when things are getting kind of frantic in our lives.
And that’s the same with meditation, right? The point of meditation is really to clear out all the thoughts and to really just ground yourself back down. So try something. Maybe you’ve never done a meditation or a guided meditation. You’ve never done breathing exercises. Just try it, see what you like. I know I went through a lot of.
People when I was looking for kind of guided meditations to help me fall asleep because falling asleep was really difficult. You have to listen to them. You have to find out if their voice annoys you or if it’s something you like. Um, but there’s definitely stuff out there for you. Next tip is to find a creative outlet.
Art, music, decorating, photography, dance, anything creative. It doesn’t have to be. It can be totally out of the box. Just whatever feels creative for you, that can be a really great thing to do for ourselves. For me, I ended up painting my house and I always use safe paint, so don’t worry, but. I love to paint walls and decorate my house, and that was something that was really creative.
So I got to think about paint colors and think about design and, and online shop and dream. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to take a ton of time. It could just be sitting down with your kids in coloring instead of. Running around doing all the things we do as moms. Just sit down and draw with them, paint with them, get out the sidewalk, chalk, do anything that’s gonna be creative and, and just give you some time to focus on something that can bring you joy.
All right, and my last bonus tip is definitely talking to someone if it’s therapy or if it’s coaching. Of course, I think everyone should have a coach, even if you’re in therapy. I know a lot of people who are in therapy and they have a coach, but your mental health is so incredibly important and you don’t need to wait.
I see a lot of people, and maybe you’re listening to this and you’re even just thinking about getting pregnant again and you’re not sure, and we wait for that 12 weeks. We wait to see if we’re really gonna stay pregnant before we would invest in going to therapy or hiring a life coach. And you don’t have to suffer through that first trimester where it can be one of the scariest parts because you really don’t have a lot of control over the outcome.
You can’t feel baby kicking, you dunno what’s gonna happen. You’ve got all these statistics and risks of when you’re gonna lose a baby and what. What’s more likely and all of that swirling around, but you do not have to wait until 12 weeks. It is gonna be so helpful, even if you’re not pregnant yet, to go ahead and get some help with your mental health.
And on the other side, even if you’re getting close to the end and you think. Well, I’m gonna have a baby soon and I’ve kind of struggled all the way through this pregnancy and I don’t, it’s too late to, to do something for me and help me. It’s not too late. There’s definitely lots to think about as you go into the hospital, as you go into your birth and as you go into mothering after a loss, right?
Postpartum. Definitely having some support for your mental health is really important because a lot of people think that as soon as they have the baby that they’re gonna feel better. But unfortunately, your brain comes with you even after the baby’s born, and a lot of moms still get nervous even though it’s incredibly joyful.
You’re still checking baby and making sure he or she is breathing and all of that, and just everything that comes with being a new mom. No matter how many times you’ve done it. So having someone there to help support your mental health, I think is so, so important. It’s somewhere where you can talk about what’s going on and you can get help and learn how to manage your mind, and I definitely would love to help you if you are in any of these stages, thinking about trying again, newly pregnant or anywhere in your pregnancy.
For pregnancy after loss coaching, I have an amazing program that’s gonna help you learn that you don’t have to hold your breath and it’s gonna help you feel better and bond with your baby during this pregnancy after loss, which I know can sometimes feel impossible, but it is possible and I would love to show you how.
So, definitely. Check out my website, smooth zones coaching.com or find me on Instagram. I’ve got a link in the show notes for a free 30 minute session where we just talk about the program and all of that, and we also coach you on whatever you’ve got going on. So it’s definitely fun to spend a little time talking together and seeing what coaching is like.
If you are interested in trying and you’re feeling like you just need some help and some relief from. All the anxiety and the fears and the stuff that you’ve got going on during this pregnancy after a loss. I love you guys. I thank you so much for listening. If you know of anybody who would be helped by this episode, definitely share it.
Don’t forget to grab your free 99 journal prompts and I will talk to you next time.