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Health Challenges That Can Follow a Loss

The grief a parent feels after miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, recurrent pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal loss, infant loss is unlike any other grief we experience as humans. Many cultures struggle with how to support parents, workplaces are only just beginning to offer bereavement leave for miscarriage, and loved ones often battle with their own emotions of the loss while trying to support the parents.

Grief is physiologically taxing

In addition to that grief being a difficult experience, it is also a physiologically taxing event, with symptoms presenting emotionally and also physically.

In the first few months after a significant loss, it is very common to experience health challenges such as:

  • Digestive trouble
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Increased pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • New diagnoses or exacerbation of cardiovascular disease
  • Temperature dysregulation
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Frequent sickness
  • Exacerbation or new diagnosis of autoimmune disease
    …and more

These health complications are not in your head, nor do they have to do with your thoughts. Such health complications are tied to the endocine and immune changes that are prevalent with grief following loss.

Grief changes your body on a cellular level, though these changes are intended to last a short time. If the grief is not tied to trauma, then as your body metabolizes the grief, you should see an improvement in these health challenges. (Listen to Delivering Miracles®️ episode 128). 

When Your Grief is Tied to Trauma

When the grief is tied to trauma, these health changes can be more pronounced and last for a longer time. Many parents have been told by medical and mental health providers that their conditions are “treatment resistent”, when this is not the case.

Research has shown that traumatic loss is tied to an altered neuro-endo-immune triad. You might notice that you are getting sick more frequently, you’ve developed a flare up with your chronic pain or existing chronic illness that is less responsive to your usual treatment.

There is hope

Health improvements can be experienced as the traumatic stress is released from the body and neuro-endo-immune balance is restored, especially when other treatments have not worked. We don’t mean more deep breathing, exercising more or crying until you’ve run out of tears. Neuro-endo-immune regulation from a somatic (body-based) perspective has been shown to be a gentle way to detangle trauma from grief, so that you can remember your babies with love and not the pain of trauma tied to it, and so you can resolve the trauma and grief-related health complications.

This is what we teach in the Ruvelle Experience, and we’d love to have you join us.

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