Commonly asked questions about this session
Why would we want to think about something so sad and upsetting?
We completely understand this concern, because we know all too well how difficult it can be to think and talk about pregnancy and baby loss. Yet what we also know from a 2023 YouGov Survey that 50% of UK adults have been directly impacted, either through their own personal experiences or family and friends. This is a huge proportion of people – and this will inevitably include people in your own organisation.
As a society, we struggle to talk about death, loss and grief. But not talking about this topic doesn’t make it go away. What it does do however is make people who are going through it feel even more isolated and alone. We hope that by engaging organisations in these difficult topics (in accessible, safe and containing ways), we can help you to become a leader in helping employees and colleagues through what can be the most difficult of times.
People who do not feel supported in their workplace following pregnancy and baby loss:
• Return sooner than they would like, and this negatively impacts their ability to work effectively (presenteeism).
• Are more likely to reduce their working hours.
• Are more likely to consider leaving their role.
Organisations can prevent this by creating a culture that is safe and supportive for anyone impacted by loss.
How can a session like this help?
We believe that knowledge and understanding is the first step in supporting change in a workplace. Often people don’t know what to say or do and so they say nothing to someone who is grieving the loss of a baby – we get that. But this can have such a detrimental impact on those going through loss. What we want to do is help you to feel comfortable in starting and continuing these conversations.
In this session we will equip you with:
• Some basic understanding of what we mean by the terms ‘pregnancy and baby loss’.
• How it impacts people.
• What can help someone who is going through loss.
• What you can do. This includes what to say (and what to avoid saying) and some practical strategies for helping people to navigate a safe and supported return to work.
I am worried that this session will be too upsetting / distressing for our staff.
Our facilitators are qualified healthcare professionals who have many years of experience in facilitating sessions in a sensitive and safe manner. We start the sessions focussing on the importance of self-care and encouraging people to step away from the session if needed. We also talk at the end about where people can access support if they need to.
Our aim is to make the session engaging, thought provoking but also hopeful. Of course, we cover some difficult statistics regarding the prevalence of pregnancy and loss and some of the key terms that are helpful to understand. However, we believe people come away from these sessions with the knowledge of the essentialrole the workplace can play in supporting people – moving away from a place of hopelessness to a place of empathic motivation. We want to help you to make your workplace safe for people who are grieving.
Feedback has consistently been positive, and we are always excited to hear about how workplaces are using what they have learnt to take things forward in their own organisations.
What if it ‘triggers’ people who have experienced loss in the past?
We cannot guarantee that thinking and talking about loss won’t elicit an emotional response in people – it is such a difficult subject, particularly if you have experienced your own losses. However, these feelings are likely to be triggered in the workplace all of the time – pregnancy announcements, anniversaries and baby showers are just a few examples from our community. Living after loss can mean navigating many triggers (particularly at work) on a daily basis. And as outlined above, we are careful to highlight this to attendees at the start of the session by talking about self-care and ways in which to access help afterwards if needed.
Attendees of our sessions often report feeling positive and actually grateful that their workplace is putting pregnancy and baby loss firmly on their agenda. Feedback has included:
“I wish this had been in place before I had my loss”.
“It is so good that [organisation] is talking about this”.
“I never told anyone about my loss as I was so worried about how this would impact my future. I want other people to get more support and understanding”.
I’m concerned about the impact it will have on people who are yet to have children / are trying to conceive or currently pregnant
We are careful to think about this at the start and the end of the session and people are welcome to miss the session or leave if they are finding it too difficult. The way in which the session is advertised within an organisation can also help with this, so people can make an informed choice as to whether they feel okay to attend.
This might include:
• Explaining why your organisation is committed to talking about pregnancy and baby loss.
• Giving an overview of the session content.
• Discussing the aim and purpose of the session and how it will help people in the workplace.