A new support program meant to help couples overcome pregnancy loss is set to begin at the end of the month.
Local author Blaise Hunter and the Dragonfly Counselling & Support Centre have launched Footprints: an infertility and pregnancy loss support group.
Their partnership is looking to give an outlet to those people who are grieving in a “silent struggle” after miscarriage, said Hunter. She detailed her own personal struggle with it in her book Heroine: Embrace Your Flaws & Own Your Awesome.
“I’ve just received an outpouring of women and men coming up to me, sharing their own stories and their own frustrations, and just feeling isolated and alone,” said Hunter.
“It really got me thinking that there is a lack of support in this area, and in general in society, that we’re not really talking about this taboo topic. I wanted to help myself and help others by creating a local chapter support group for infertility and pregnancy loss.”
Although the statistics on miscarriage are unclear, likely due to gaps in reporting, it is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience one in their lifetime. It’s also an area that the Dragonfly Centre has helped clients with in the past, making it a natural partnership in executive director Cheryl Bujold’s eyes.
“She [Hunter] asked if there was any support the Dragonfly Centre could offer and we said absolutely because it’s dealing with trauma, and families, and support. And that’s what we do. We thought this would be a good partnership,” said Bujold.
“Really our goal is to get people to come out and get people to start talking, and if they need support and help, we can definitely point them in the right direction.”
There will also be a focus on how men deal with this type of trauma.
“I really want to stress the importance of men in this because it’s not just a woman’s problem,” said Hunter. “Men grieve too. Men struggle too in this process. Really, in this day and age we don’t have a lot of outlets for men to go to get support emotionally and mentally on the infertility side. It’s really marketed as a women’s problem, and it’s not.”
The first meeting is Nov. 26 at 7pm at the Dragonfly Counselling & Support Centre. They hope to hold meetings once a month.