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Mindful Space x Baby Central: Dealing with Pregnancy Loss

We speak to Vernessa Chuah, owner of Mindful Space on dealing with Pregnancy Loss. Her loss of three beautiful angel babies had transformed her vulnerability to support other women who experienced miscarriage, abortion, loss, grief and infertility. She holds a pregnancy loss circle for the community, and coach women on how to move forward with the trauma, grief and loss. She is the first pregnancy loss coach in South East Asia.

What are some of the ways one can cope with grief after pregnancy loss?

  1. Take a pause to acknowledge your emotions
  • There is no need to dismiss or distract that unpleasant emotions, simply just be. When we name our emotions, we heal. Every emotion is here to tell us something, every emotion serves a purpose, it’s okay to be feeling the way you are. It’s common to feel sad when we loss something precious to us. The more we avoid, the harder it is for us to truly heal. Just let the waves of emotion come and go, the emotion does not define who you are. We did not have a choice on what happened, yet we have a choice on how we choose to respond and heal.
  1. Join / Attend a support group. Healing comes when we can speak for ourselves or/and when we hear others’ stories.
  1. Seek closure
  • Closing Ritual / Burial Ceremony (tell your child what you want to say)
  • Take Remembrance Photography
  • Create a Keepsake (with child’s hair or umbilical cord)
  1. Release the stress hormones accumulated in the body from the traumatic event
  • Mindfulness practice
  • Tension Release Exercises (TRE)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Somatic movement and dance
  • Any movement based activity such as swimming, running, yoga, qi gong, hiking
  • Walk in nature for a forest bath
  • Walk on sandy beach and listen to the waves of the ocean
  • Sound therapy / healing
  1. Seek professional help whether it’s counselling or pregnancy loss coaching
  2. Common non-verbal releasing used by professionals for individuals who experienced traumatic events
  • Creative arts
  • Journaling: Pregnancy loss journal (Vernessa’s pregnancy loss journal is now available to the public at $20)

What can family members do to support a couple through pregnancy loss?


  • Trying to soothe them by distracting them with other topics or events in life
  • Dismissing their feeling by telling them “you are still young, you can try again”
  • Invalidating their struggles by finding a silver lining for them “at least you can get pregnant”. It’s okay if it comes from them, but not from you. Respect their thoughts and space.

How you can support?

  • Hold space for them, simply be there and let them choose what they feel. If they choose to cry, let them release (Avoid asking them not to cry as you are telling them not to listen to their emotions, and giving the message that crying is not acceptable, you are not comfortable holding space). Be comfortable with tears, and it’s okay if you cry too.
  • Refrain from giving advice. No advice is needed unless being asked or given permission. There is no need to try to fix the situation, feel responsible for that person’s emotions, or try to make the mood lighter. It’s their journey to go through, sometimes we need to breakdown in our journey in order to heal. Just respect where they are. A hug in silence can be the most powerful tool. Sometimes nothing much needs to be said, your energy and intention says it all.
  • Create space for them by taking off their current load so they have headspace and heart space to process their grief
    • Run errands and chores – laundry, cleaning, walk the dog
    • if they have other kids, help them to babysit, bring the kids out, pick up and drop off
    • Shop for groceries
    • Make meals
    • Help with funeral arrangements if any
    • Be their driver to go around
  • Allowing them to release and show that you accept them for who they are
    • Share an enjoyable activity (art project, sport, game, puzzle, etc)
    • Be an exercise buddy to motivate them
    • Accompany them for walks, yoga, fitness class,
    • Take them out for a meal or movie
    • Gift them a pregnancy loss journal if they like to write
    • Paint together if they like to draw
    • Sing and dance together if they can express themselves through music
    • Send them information on support available for pregnancy loss in your community. (For Singapore, Vernessa holds a complimentary support group - pregnancy loss circle bi-monthly, and provides one-to-one coaching at the park or beach) 

What are some struggles that couples/women face during pregnancy loss and how can they deal with it? (e.g. people tend not to talk about miscarriages)

Some people don’t know how to express their emotions, some might not know who to talk to. The inability to process grief might cause them to withdraw and they rather not talk about it.

It is more socially acceptable and common for women to express their sadness and be vulnerable. While men are expected to be the tough one to hold the fort. This unspoken rule create an association that men showing emotions are weak, being vulnerable is not acceptable. Hence, sometimes men tend to be emotionless and continue their daily routine.

Their first instinct is to bring out their masculine energy into survival mode, which is to protect this women whom he loves, to avoid their spouse spiralling down. They might try to convince others they are okay, they might grief by distracting or numbing themselves (intense working hours or exercise routine), or grief only after their spouse recover (hence some men grief years later), and the common emotion that shows up is anger. Many men display sadness as anger. Anger is actually a secondary emotion, beneath the anger is fear, sadness, confusion and grief. 

The silence sometimes make things worse for the other partner as the spouse might look for simpatico relationship and cannot understand why the other person doesn’t grief the same way. They assume if they are not crying or hurting as much, means they don’t care.

The other struggle couples might face is when they have pressure to have a child especially  when the women feel their  biological clock is ticking, or there is an expectation from extended family. Perhaps it’s healthy to see if there are missing conversations to speak to either parents or in-laws about their expectations and pressure. My spouse makes it clear that he will manage his own family, while I manage mine so we both have clear roles.

What can be helpful is the couple talk about what they are each willing to do to achieve their goal together, and if that does not happen, what is the worst case scenario. Understand that pregnancy loss is not a “women” job, it’s a unity of the soul and a co-creation together, the journey doesn’t start form the womb, it starts before the child is even conceived. Whether both would like to seek alternative or holistic treatment, or reduce workload, or go deeper into “why do we want to become parents?”, “why is this so important to us?. Most of us don’t question, we just follow because it’s the life stages that is expected socially (herd mentality); yet when we can uncover deeper meaning, we change our life.

A depressed mom has the tendency to deliver a pre-mature baby. A depressed dad has a even higher tendency for the baby to be born much more prematurely. This is because women tend to absorb the emotions of their spouse also. Hence, the couple needs to have a mutual understanding and open communication of how to manage their emotions and stress level.

Alternatively, they can seek couple counselling or coaching. When me and my husband agrees that the worst case scenario is adoption, I remember feeling the sense of relief and was able to continue my journey much more light heartedly. 

Spending time together while also know how to give space to each other is a balancing act and dance that the couple needs to fine tune to each other. Being open with their needs can strengthen and nurture the relationship further.

What are some tips to make myself feel better?

For me personally, talking helps! When we talk to others and revisit our stories, we are acknowledging it happened and slowly healing. When we hear others’ stories, we realised we are not alone. Hearing how others pull through gives the light at the end of the tunnel. It makes our pain feel recognised and our grief experience acceptable. 

I love to read so that really helps me to gain more wisdom and transformation. You can choose to write to your angel baby, or journal your healing process too. Giving yourself a voice and connect within you.

The other thing is being with nature, I hike and go to the beach often for energy exchange. Letting mother nature take my sadness, pain and worries away; while replenish with a more healthy energy.

When I have sufficient rest, I somehow have more calmness and clarity in how I want to keep moving. Less agitated, less annoyed, not sweating over the small things.

When the “feel better” factor comes within yourself or within your control, you have the power to make it  accessible anytime anywhere you want; without being dependable on too many external factors that might disappoint or change the course. It’s important to go within, mindfulness practice is one simple, easy and effective tool.  My yoga and mindfulness practice is always a go-to-support for me.

How would you know that you are ready to try again?

This is a tough question because it depends on the individual, and the couple as a family. It requires open and honest conversation to talk about the fear and anxieties, the hopes and expectations. Our body-brain is four times more powerful than our mind-brain, so listen to your body and hear the answer honestly. For me, I will give myself 6 months to recuperate before trying again so I am mentally and physically more prepared. 

If this is so important and your burning desire, are you preparing and nurturing your body?

Even when we have another child, it doesn’t make us forget about our angel child.

The only way is to move forward with the grief. There is intense energy in grief, and we can transform this energy to something powerful and pay tribute to our angel baby.