Support for the Body After Pregnancy Ends

Clare Kritter, Certified Herbalist & Bonnie McIntosh, Certified Herbalist

Fear, Relief, Loss, Empowerment…

These are words that can describe the flood of feelings that goes along with the end of a pregnancy. One in three women in the United States will choose to terminate a pregnancy in their lifetime, and one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Though abortion and miscarriage are different — one usually involves choice, and the other circumstance — there is an overlap in the way the body responds to such an event. Our hormones, one of the many languages our bodies speak, surge with bioelectrical signaling as our bodies respond in a myriad of ways, shifting and adapting to the change. And this change can be a challenge to wrap our minds, hearts, and psyches around.

What happens physiologically when a pregnancy is lost due to miscarriage? What are the effects of the pharmaceuticals used for ending a pregnancy? How can we support someone going through these processes? As herbalists, birth workers, supportive friends or healers of all kinds, it is likely that we will at some point work with a client to heal or process their experience of losing or terminating a pregnancy. Together we can learn to hold space for our clients who have lost or terminated a pregnancy, and with the help of herbs, nutritional recommendations, and flower essences, we can support the body to balance and heal itself.

During the first class of this series, we will discuss the physiology of both pregnancy and abortion. We will discuss the various stages of pregnancy during which different types of abortion occur, and the western medical procedures and pharmaceuticals that are used to induce an abortion. We will also discuss the physiology of miscarriage.

Other themes include:

:: Holding Space ::

Such a transition can be incredibly emotionally charged, bringing with it a plethora of feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. As allies, there is much we can do to hold space for someone’s process, allowing them to express themselves as they wish and showing up for them as they need.

:: Herbs & Nutrition ::

As herbalists, we are fortunate enough to have tools to support the body along its Unfolding. We are not here to prod it back to baseline, but to offer what it needs to settle back into itself. We can make a marked difference by providing nourishment through nutritional recommendations — broths, nutrient dense foods, protein, etc. — and by using our herbal aides.

:: Flower Essences ::

Flower essences, energetic medicine made by infusing flowers in water, are used to balance the more subtle aspects of our emotional and spiritual bodies. They can be immensely helpful in addressing the sense of loss that often accompanies miscarriage, or any of the other emotions that may arise.

In the second, hands-on class we will focus on self-care for individuals who have miscarried or chosen to terminate a pregnancy. During this class we will dive a little more deeply into the energetic aspect of ending a pregnancy and ways to balance the emotional and spiritual bodies. We will deepen our understanding of herbs, and experiment with flower essences and medicine-making. Each participant will leave with their very own Self-Care Toolkit so please bring a $15 materials fee.

This class series is open to all individuals regardless of sexual or gender identity. We aim to create a safe space where participants can share and learn from each other. We invite holistic practitioners of all kinds, individuals who have lost or terminated a pregnancy, or anyone who considers themselves an ally. We look forward to seeing you there!