By Dr Lina Kaplan –

Pregnancy loss presents a formidable challenge to bereaved parents. Grieving parents often report a profound sense of isolation and alienation at the time when they most need support.  Many people do not fully appreciate the attachment that already has formed between the parents and their unborn child, nor the symbolic losses associated with pregnancy loss. Grieving parents, therefore, often feel their loss is minimized and trivialized (“it is all for the best”, “you are young, you’ll be pregnant in no time”) and feel both internal and external pressure to “move on.”

One way in which individuals and couples do, in fact, attempt to “move on” after a pregnancy loss is by prematurely getting pregnant again.  There is a desire to “get back on track” by having a baby without allowing sufficient time to mourn the loss of the previous pregnancy.  Many who rush into another pregnancy within 2-6 months after a loss, typically think of a new pregnancy as a way of coping with the loss. This is often an attempt to forget the pain, to re-establish normalcy and their identity as parents.  However, there are usually some concerns with this decision.

During the new pregnancy, when a woman needs to be preoccupied with the new life inside of her, she often finds herself sadly preoccupied with the previous loss. Many women who got pregnant prematurely after pregnancy loss often report they are unable to be fully present, to enjoy their new pregnancy, and often experience difficulty in bonding with the child who grows inside of them.  They report anxiety, fear, guilt and obsessive preoccupation with the previous pregnancy and its loss.

On the other end on the spectrum, some women and their partners report experiencing paralyzing anxiety over the next pregnancy. They may need encouragement and support to move on and to become pregnant once again.  They need help in resolving the emotional trauma (and sometimes physical trauma as well) associated with the previous pregnancy that may prevent them from wanting to get pregnant again. For some couples, the timing of a new pregnancy becomes a source of conflict as each partner goes through a different grieving process, on a different time line and may have different feelings about another pregnancy.

In the safety of the therapeutic environment in a form of individual therapy, couples therapy and/or a support group, parents are helped by sharing their experience and are supported to express their sadness, anger, guilt, shame and bitterness. Such an environment provides parents with a safe opportunity to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and differences associated with plans for a new pregnancy.  It allows parents to examine their motivation, the timing of a new pregnancy, and to make a conscious decision that will benefit not only them but their future child as well.

Dr. Lina Kaplan is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles with over 17 years of diverse clinical experience. She specializes in infertility, pregnancy and neonatal losses. Multi-lingual (English, Hebrew, Russian and basic Spanish), Dr. Kaplan is also specializes in the emotional challenges associated with cross-cultural transitions.

To learn more about Dr. Kaplan’s work, go to:     You can reach her directly at:

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Monica Novak

Monica Novak became a bereaved mother in 1995 with the stillbirth of her daughter Miranda, learning firsthand the devastation of saying goodbye to a much-loved, much-wanted baby before having the chance to say hello. Three weeks later, she began a journey towards healing when she attended her first Share support group meeting. Along the way, she and six other bereaved mothers formed a close bond that carried them through the grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death, as well as the challenges of subsequent pregnancy and infertility. Having been at the opposite ends of grief and joy; despair and hope; indifference and compassion; fear and peace-sometimes simultaneously-she has captured these emotions and the story of her journey in a highly-praised new memoir titled The Good Grief Club. Monica writes and speaks on the subject of pregnancy loss and infant death and is involved with local and national organizations that provide support to families and caregivers. She is a member of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA). Her mission is to bring comfort and hope to bereaved parents worldwide and to educate and promote awareness to the physicians, nurses, clergy, counselors, family, and friends of every mother or father who has or ever will be told that their baby has no heartbeat or that nothing more can be done. The mother of three daughters, Monica lives in the Chicago area with her husband, children, and a rat terrier named Sami. For more information, please visit or e-mail Monica at Monica appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing ”Miscarriage and Infant Loss.” To hear Monica being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, go to the following link:

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