Pregnancy After Loss

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy! The team in the National Maternity Hospital are keenly aware that this pregnancy may be filled with anxiety for you and your family. We hope that this webpage will help you throughout your pregnancy. We will support you throughout this pregnancy as much as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact us for support & advice.

If you would like a rainbow pregnancy support pack including information and mindfulness resources please email the bereavement midwives on These packs are kindly supported by the NMH Foundation and can be posted to you or collected from the hospital at your next appointment.

This webpage was developed for couples who experienced any type of pregnancy loss at any stage during the pregnancy or the death of a baby after birth. You may find some sections are more relevant to your situation then others and you can discuss your individual circumstances with your doctor/midwife at any stage.

For many people who have experienced pregnancy loss, finding out they are pregnant again can bring with it a roller coaster of emotions including a mixture of hope and fear. You may feel cautiously optimistic or overwhelmingly worried, almost waiting for things to go wrong. And you may find that you move back and forth - sometimes positive, sometimes very anxious, and sometimes determinedly putting the pregnancy out of your mind.

It is very normal and understandable given what you have been through to feel a range of emotions during your pregnancy. Actually, it would be unusual if you did not feel worried, anxious or unhappy at least some of the time. Even so, it can be difficult living with these feelings.

See below information about pregnancy after loss and support services available to you.

The NMH has a pregnancy after loss support group, for more information see 'support available for pregnancy after loss'

Relaxation Exercises

Support Available for Pregnancy After Loss

You can talk to your midwife or doctor at any of your antenatal visits about how you are feeling. You can also contact the bereavement midwives by phone on 016373225 or email to if you need any further advice or support. You will also find below a list of support services that may be of help.

NMH Support group

Are you navigating a pregnancy after previous pregnancy loss or baby loss?

If so, you may be experiencing a lot of different heightened and difficult feelings, particularly anxiety. We know that being pregnant after previous loss can be really challenging and it can be difficult to talk to others about how you’re feeling and how you’re experiencing this pregnancy.

In recognition of this, the bereavement service and perinatal mental health team would like to invite you to our support group; Navigating Pregnancy After Loss (PAL).

The PAL group explores what to expect when your pregnant after loss (both emotionally and psychologically) and strategies to manage these experiences.  

The group is run in the evenings, across four weekly sessions, and is online. Places are limited so booking is essential.

To find out more, please contact Aoife and Brenda by email at and register for our next support group.

We look forward to meeting you and supporting you as you navigate what can be both a joyful and fraught journey.

Support for families who have experienced the death of a baby after 12 weeks or after birth.

A Little Lifetime Foundation

Provides regular support groups specifically for women who are pregnant after the loss of a baby (PALS group) & a private Facebook group for support. See their website, here for further information. 

Féileacáin (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland)

Provides support groups, phone support and advice for parents. They also host a private facebook group specifically for people who are pregnant after the loss of a baby. Here you can talk to other couples going through a similar experience and support each other. See their website here  or phone 0852496464 for more details.

Leanbh Mo Chroi

Provide non-directive practical information, advice and support to anyone considering their options, including ending a pregnancy for a medical reason. We are available for support at any stage of such bereavements. You may contact us before, during, or after a loss no matter how long ago. Provides support for parents who had a termination of pregnancy and provide phone support and support groups. See their website, here for more information. 

Support for families who have experienced a miscarriage

The Miscarriage Association of Ireland

Provides support via the phone or in support groups for couples who have experienced a miscarriage, see their website, here for more information.

NMH Rainbow babies video

Introduction to & celebration of precious NMH Rainbow babies

Wholehearted thanks to everyone who sent us in wonder-filled, inspiring pictures, stories and videos for our very precious NMH Rainbow babies video. We were absolutely blown away by the response received. We have shared as many of your stories as possible and for the purpose of this video, we needed to shorten some of these. We hope that everyone who contributed can understand and we look forward to sharing your full stories over the coming year.

We would also like to say a very big thank you for your very kind words, which are deeply appreciated by our multidisciplinary teams here. The past two years in particular haven’t been easy for anyone. This video is also a reminder to them of the incredible, life-changing work they do here each and every day. It is so heart-warming to read and feel your gratitude, thank you. We are committed to continuing to invest in research and innovation and to find the Why.

The journey towards having a baby can be a very fragile, challenging and emotional time for many and through this video, we wanted to offer hope and inspiration to those who are waiting on their rainbow. If you need support during a pregnancy after loss, please see our dedicated support services on this page.

If you would like to support The NMH Foundation whose work is dedicated to helping babies to arrive, survive and thrive, please visit

Things you can do to help yourself


Regular, gentle exercise is good for you during pregnancy. You may find it helps your mental health just as much as your physical health. Indeed, we know from research that movement and exercise are really effective in optimising our emotional and psychological wellbeing.

A daily walk, particularly in nature or a nice environment can greatly benefit your emotional and physical well-being during pregnancy. Many pregnant women find swimming relaxing and enjoyable, particularly in later pregnancy. Yoga can also be helpful as it can tone your body and relax you too. Although exercise is beneficial, it is important to listen to your body and not to do anything that causes any pain or discomfort. Ask your doctor or midwife if you have concerns about pursuing a particular form of exercise while pregnant.

Eating well

You don’t need a special diet, other than the normal advice for pregnancy but it is sensible to eat a mixture of foods to give you and your baby all the nutrients you need.

You may find the ‘Hollestic’ app helpful. This is an app developed by the dieticians in the National Maternity Hospital and includes lots of information about nutrition in pregnancy and recipes for healthy meals and snacks. You can find more information here

Relaxation and mindfulness

Some women find mindfulness or deep breathing exercises very helpful, for more information see here 


Volunteers from the Reiki Federation of Ireland provide a complimentary Reiki session to women attending the NMH. See website, here, for more information and to book a session

How you may be feeling

We all feel stressed and anxious at times and this is more likely when you are pregnant after a previous loss.

Every woman will experience different things that cause anxiety throughout the pregnancy and sometimes after the birth. You may worry every time you feel a twinge of pain in your stomach, or you may worry every time you go to the toilet, checking your underwear each time for any signs of bleeding. There may be times which are particularly difficult, such as when you are getting near to the stage when you experienced your previous loss or losses. It might also be stressful before a scan or during the time between scans. Even when everything is well with your baby at a scan you may still find it difficult to be optimistic, perhaps especially if you have had more than one loss. You may find you get particularly anxious as the birth of your baby gets nearer. On top of that, you may worry that being anxious will harm your baby in some way. In fact, there is no proof that stress or anxiety causes miscarriage. We realise that you may wish you were not feeling stressed, but it may be best to accept that it’s understandable and do your best to look after yourself. And although all of these difficult feelings are normal, this doesn’t mean you have to experience them alone.

Some parents tell us they worry that their baby who died will be forgotten about by friends/family now that they are pregnant again. Sometimes well-meaning friends/family stop talking about the baby who has died on focus on the ‘new baby’. It may be helpful to explain to family and friends that you still want to talk about your baby and want him/her to be remembered.  Some people may feel that now another baby is coming that your grief is over and this can cause huge upset for grieving parents.  Parents often say they feel guilty for being happy but also feel guilty if they feel sad as they want to be excited and happy for the new baby but also are still grieving for their baby. These feelings can be exceedingly difficult to experience but are all normal. Some parents have described feeling a mix of happy, sad, grief, anxiety, guilt, fear and other emotions all rolled into one! There is no right or wrong way to feel. It is important to remember you are not alone and there are lots of support services available to you (See support available for pregnancy after loss, above)

Talking about your feelings

Many people tell us that talking to their partner, family & friends is a key source of support.

You might feel reluctant to tell people you are pregnant, especially in those first few weeks. On the other hand, you might find it helps to tell a few chosen people – perhaps those who were supportive after your loss and are likely to be supportive now too.

If you are in a work environment, you may want to think about telling your manager and maybe a colleague or colleagues that you are pregnant. It means you’ll be entitled to paid time off for antenatal appointments, and you may have more appointment to attend in this pregnancy. Your colleagues may also offer extra support and understanding. On the other hand, you may not feel comfortable telling anyone at work. You may well have to tell them at some point but for now, you’d find it more stressful than helpful. Do what feels right for you.

You may find it helpful to speak to other women who are or have been pregnant following a pregnancy loss. See support available for pregnancy after loss (above) for information about support groups and other ways to meet women in a similar situation to you.

If you would like to speak to someone in the hospital for support and advice you can contact the bereavement midwives for support or advice at any stage during your pregnancy. (phone 016373255 or email

Useful websites

Féileacáin (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland)

The Miscarriage Association of Ireland

Leanbh Mo Chroi

Provide non-directive practical information, advice and support to anyone considering their options, including ending a pregnancy for a medical reason. We are available for support at any stage of such bereavements. You may contact us before, during, or after a loss no matter how long ago.

A Little Lifetime Foundation

Cork miscarriage website

Provides information about miscarriage and pregnancy after miscarriage.

Miscarriage association (UK)

The UK miscarriage association has a very informative website

They have also published an information booklet about pregnancy after miscarriage, see here


Tommy’s are a UK based charity, whose website has lots of helpful information about pregnancy after loss.

Mind the bump

Mind the Bump is a free Mindfulness Meditation App to help individuals and couples support their mental and emotional wellbeing in preparation for having a baby and becoming a new parent.

Helpful books

You may find the following books helpful.

Joy at the end of the rainbow (A guide to pregnancy after loss) by Amanda Ross-White
Pregnancy After Loss, A day to day plan to reassure and comfort you by Zoe Clark-Coates

Support for children

When a baby dies, every member of the family can be affected, even young children.

Some children may also need extra support and reassurance when their mother is pregnant again. The child or children may still be grieving the loss of their baby brother or sister, see below list of support services and books which may help your child cope with their feelings.

The bereavement midwives can be contacted by phone (016373225) or email ( for advice

The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network

Information and resources for children’s grief. See website here

First light

Most suited for families who experience the death of a baby after 24 weeks

1850391391 or 01-8732711

Free service

Provides counselling and support for children.


Most suited for families who experience the death of a baby after 20 weeks or phone: 0852496464

Free service

Provides support and information, craft workshops and play therapy for children

A Little Lifetime

(01) 882 9030

Support and information about supporting your children

The following books may be help your child talk about their brother or sister who died and express their emotions.

We were going to have a baby but had an angel instead
The invisible string
Ethan’s butterflies
I miss you
The memory tree
When sadness comes to call
Muddles puddles and Sunshine (a workbook)


After your baby is born

After your baby is born you may feel a mix of emotions including joy, sadness, guilt & relief. It is very normal to feel lots of emotions and to alternate between feeling happy and sad during the first few days and weeks and years after your baby’s birth. If you would like to talk about how you are feeling while you are in the hospital ask the midwife caring for you to contact the bereavement midwife. You can also contact the bereavement midwife yourself on 01-6373225 or email

You may like to receive a Féileacáin sibling teddy, which says ‘for my little brother’ or ‘for my little sister’ to give to your baby, see picture below. If you would like one of these teddies, please contact the bereavement midwives or you can contact Féileacáin directly on 0852496464. Féileacáin can also provide you with a rainbow blanket if you would like one for your baby.