Types of Loss

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This page will explain some of the loss terms possibly used by medical staff, and will link into the common birth methods that may be suggested to you, based on the kind of loss you are experiencing (these terms are listed in near-chronological order of loss).  From the birth methods page, you will be invited to visit birth planning pages.  Birth plans are the options you have within the birth method medically necessary for the birth of your baby.  If this is all overwhelming right now and you don’t remember what your doctor told you, you may want to simply start with this link: I’m having a miscarriage.

If your experience is any of these, you are invited to share your story.

Fertility Struggle

Chemical Pregnancy (miscarriage prior to ultrasound)

Honoring Uncertainty (“I maybe miscarried.”)

Blighted Ovum

Ectopic Pregnancy

Molar Pregnancy

Threatened Miscarriage

Inevitable (or Incomplete) Miscarriage

Missed Miscarriage (or “Silent Miscarriage”)

Complete Miscarriage

Live Miscarriage

Unexpected Diagnosis (and the right to grieve)

Vanishing Twin/papyraceus

Twins or More

Selective Reduction or TFMR

Recurrent Miscarriage (including fertility challenges/parenting options)

Fertility Challenges

Finding Peace with Pregnancy

Elective Abortion


Difficult or fatal diagnosis in pregnancy

NICU grief

Living Grief (grieving aspects of parenthood, related to children who are alive: can include birth trauma, fostering, adoption (family of origin), unactualized/ “failed” adoption (intending family), shared/step parenting, surrogacy, empty nesting and menopause)

Dual-Role Parenthood (similar to Living Grief, this section has resources related to custody grief, dysfunctional family structures, military families and widows, and similar to Maternal Death, this section has resources related to an adult losing both spouse and children.)

Stewarding Grief (emotional aspects of deciding to limit or inhibit fertility)

Homebirth/ Out of Hospital Loss

Neonatal Death

Pregnancy Loss after Medically Assisted Conception (or grief after ART)

Child Loss (from toddlers to teens to adults – includes grandparent support)

Maternal Death

Living Grief (NICU grief, surrogacy, fostering, adoption, birth trauma, stewarding grief)

Bereaved Friends & Family

Bereaved Providers

Getting Pregnant Again / “Rainbow Pregnancy”/ Rearing after Loss / Tandem Nursing Grief: Rainbow Milk

Ending Fertility With a Loss


“Birth plans are the options you have within the birth method.”


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