One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, but often the devastating event is shrouded in secrecy, denying women the support of family and friends in a time when they desperately need it.
Now, a new program is offering that support to women who have experienced a miscarriage, Kidspot reports. Not-for-profit The Pink Elephants Support Network aims to guide women through their grief and support them as they heal by way of a course of six free peer support sessions with a woman who has been in their shoes.
Founded by Samantha Payne and Gabbi Armstrong, who have both experienced miscarriages themselves, the Pink Elephant Support Network has so far trained six ambassadors to meet up with women, with more to come.
Their website is also a useful resource for women, their family members and friends struggling to know how to cope with miscarriage.
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“We want to reduce the feelings of isolation many women feel by connecting them with the right mentor who can help to provide reassurance, information and support to be able to move through their very real grief,” Payne told Kidspot. “There isn’t currently this level of support available for women and their loved ones experiencing early pregnancy loss and miscarriage, which can make women feel like their pregnancy was not validated.”
Professor William Ledger, head of Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, told news.com.au that he believes the Pink Elephant Support Network to be “a remarkable team shining some light onto a common, often tragic yet seldom-discussed topic.”
“We should not try to change the grieving process — it’s healthy and necessary — but we can try to guide people through it and share their burden where possible,” he says. “The best people to do this work are those who have been through a similar process themselves.”
The Pink Elephant Support Network ambassador training has been put together by social worker and bereavement counsellor Terry Diamond, also of The Royal Hospital for Women.
If you or someone you know may benefit from their services or their downloadable factsheets, visit pinkelephantssupport.com.
This article originally appeared on marie claire