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Your femininity is not something to be proven with fertility

In a previous article Your pregnancy and loss are YOUR experience, not your debt, we talked about expectations related to fertility that were set for and by women throughout history and across cultures. And, while it is an incredible female-specific ability and biological gift to conceive and give birth, the issue of fertility has undeniably created an immense and undue social and mental pressure on all women of child-bearing age. Getting your period, having your breasts come in, seeing your hips take a more curvy form, hearing your voice change from girl to lady, are not only assessed as...

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Why it’s important for you to heal, BEFORE you take the next step

Miscarriage and pregnancy loss are traumatic experiences for most women who go through it, but the suffering is dealt with in silence and secrecy most of the time. In a raw and eye-opening newspaper article written recently by the Duchess of Sussex, in which she shared her own experience of miscarriage with the New York Times, she wrote, “Losing a child means carrying an unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.” And she is right. Pregnancy loss can cause an indescribable and unbelievable kind of pain to the woman who suffers through it, which can also spill over to...

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Accepting infertility is not equivalent to accepting defeat

As a therapist for women who have suffered trauma through miscarriages and infertility issues, I have encountered a lot of magnificent women who are able to find strength and accept their bodies and unexpected circumstances when it comes to not being able to bear children. I have also worked with determined women who have chosen the path of trying different methods of increasing their chances of fertility. And while neither category is better or stronger than the other, somehow, because of how our society perceives motherhood as an expectation and imperative for women, “fighting” against...

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Your pregnancy and loss are YOUR experience, not your debt

In many cultures, not excluding ours, women of childbearing age are still held against a quite rigid expectation to give birth and raise an offspring or two. These expectations are expressed to women even from a young age, what with all the messages in media, education, literature and family interactions that contain the “when you become a mother” premise. Not if – when. Men are also taught both by natural instinct and societal nurture to look for a mate who is fertile and able to bear their children. This perspective, messaged similarly to each sex, creates this imperative among women to...

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All the suspected causes of your miscarriage should not matter THAT much

For a lot of women who have gone through miscarriage, identifying the possible cause of losing their pregnancy becomes the first rational step after initial feelings of grief and denial. This is a natural coping mechanism to fulfil a need to understand what “went wrong” for the pregnancy. But this rationalisation can often also push someone into a rabbit hole of overthinking, self-blame, and anger about the miscarriage that happened. Yes, it can be incredibly important to be able to make sense of a pregnancy loss. This can help a woman and her family reduce risks and prepare for another...

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Reconnecting with your body after miscarriage

In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the better-known ways that a miscarriage can negatively affect a woman’s psychological health. But today, I want to share with you an aspect of mental and physical health that has been fundamental to how we relate to our bodies as women, since we developed consciousness of what it is to be a girl, and also an important aspect of recovery from miscarriage or baby loss trauma. Across all modern societies, an obstinate premium is still continuously placed on fertile female bodies. A woman’s age, weight and appearance are directly connected to...

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We have got SO used to stress that we don’t think it’s a problem

In my observation as a health practitioner, I have seen countless people trace back illnesses and symptoms to valid and specific underlying factors and causes. And while it is a great way to make sense of one’s health, I have observed that a lot of people find it easy to blame their health problems on concrete factors such as diet, physical activity, climate, accidents and bodily vices. From time to time, though, I would come across journal articles and panel discussions about stress. In a fast-paced world such as ours, especially in a time where disease is a common topic and a matter of...

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You are allowed to grieve. Or not to grieve.

In recent popular memory, one of the images that hit our social media feed was an anguished and grieving Chrissy Teigen in a hospital gown. The host, model, businesswoman and wife to Grammy-winning artist John Legend lost her last pregnancy and decided to share her feelings of loss and grief with millions of her and Legend’s followers. What followed was a flurry of divided reactions: a mix of kind messages of sympathy for the couple and their family, and quite a lot of comments expressing disapproval of the celebrities’ public display of loss and “despair”. While it is not lost on me that...

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Forgiving yourself can be life-saving.

We previously talked about miscarriage guilt and shame in another article Miscarriage shame is all TOO real. And well hidden, now I would like to open the conversation on self-forgiveness. Miscarriage, especially during fertility treatment, can be a huge source of guilt, anger and shame for a woman who has suffered through it. And through the course of time that these negative feelings and thoughts are carried, profound psychological trauma will follow. In my practice, I have seen women (and men) struggle with depression, anxiety and trauma after pregnancy loss. These are very real...

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Miscarriage shame is all TOO real. And well hidden.

The estimated pregnancy loss rate in the United Kingdom is 250,000 each year. But the experience of it is rarely spoken about either on public platforms or in our personal conversations. Understandably, because of the pain it can provoke and inflict on people affected by it. But, more quietly, because of the profound guilt and shame that women who suffer through miscarriage carry within themselves. Losing a pregnancy that one had the intention of bringing to full term can cause a deep and lasting sense of shame. This shame can come from the overwhelming guilt of having caused the...

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Your pregnancy and loss are YOUR experience, not your debt

In many cultures, not excluding ours, women of childbearing age are still held against a quite rigid expectation to give birth and raise an offspring or two. These expectations are expressed to women even from a young age, what with all the messages in media, education, literature and family interactions that contain the “when you become a mother” premise. Not if – when. Men are also taught both by natural instinct and societal nurture to look for a mate who is fertile and able to bear their children. This perspective, messaged similarly to each sex, creates this imperative among women to...

All the suspected causes of your miscarriage should not matter THAT much

For a lot of women who have gone through miscarriage, identifying the possible cause of losing their pregnancy becomes the first rational step after initial feelings of grief and denial. This is a natural coping mechanism to fulfil a need to understand what “went wrong” for the pregnancy. But this rationalisation can often also push someone into a rabbit hole of overthinking, self-blame, and anger about the miscarriage that happened. Yes, it can be incredibly important to be able to make sense of a pregnancy loss. This can help a woman and her family reduce risks and prepare for another...

Reconnecting with your body after miscarriage

In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the better-known ways that a miscarriage can negatively affect a woman’s psychological health. But today, I want to share with you an aspect of mental and physical health that has been fundamental to how we relate to our bodies as women, since we developed consciousness of what it is to be a girl, and also an important aspect of recovery from miscarriage or baby loss trauma. Across all modern societies, an obstinate premium is still continuously placed on fertile female bodies. A woman’s age, weight and appearance are directly connected to...

We have got SO used to stress that we don’t think it’s a problem

In my observation as a health practitioner, I have seen countless people trace back illnesses and symptoms to valid and specific underlying factors and causes. And while it is a great way to make sense of one’s health, I have observed that a lot of people find it easy to blame their health problems on concrete factors such as diet, physical activity, climate, accidents and bodily vices. From time to time, though, I would come across journal articles and panel discussions about stress. In a fast-paced world such as ours, especially in a time where disease is a common topic and a matter of...

You are allowed to grieve. Or not to grieve.

In recent popular memory, one of the images that hit our social media feed was an anguished and grieving Chrissy Teigen in a hospital gown. The host, model, businesswoman and wife to Grammy-winning artist John Legend lost her last pregnancy and decided to share her feelings of loss and grief with millions of her and Legend’s followers. What followed was a flurry of divided reactions: a mix of kind messages of sympathy for the couple and their family, and quite a lot of comments expressing disapproval of the celebrities’ public display of loss and “despair”. While it is not lost on me that...