Who am I?

My name is Vernessa Chuah, the founder of Mindful Space, the first pregnancy loss coach in SouthEast Asia, and a certified advanced grief recovery specialist.

 

What brings me here?

In my first 6 years of marriage, I have been admitted to hospital every year for an operation/surgery. I am no stranger to the operation theatre, general anaesthesia, dilation and curettage (D&C) or even child labour process.

In 2016, I removed my hearing bones due to a childhood ear infection which cause my right ear to be 100% deaf for the rest of my life.

In 2019, the infection attacked again, and I was at risk of losing my facial nerves and muscles, the doctor told me if the infection attacked my facial nerves, it is irreversible or unrepairable and I will need to live with weak facial muscles (eg: slur speech, difficulty eating, controlling my saliva, smile or blink). I went in the surgery not knowing what will be the outcome, and if I can ever read clearly to my daughter again.

 

How did I find my calling in grief work?

My wound and scars became my strength. Those 52 stitches on my head became 52 “one-up” points in my life. Just like super mario with it’s mushroom power, each time I came back stronger and more resilient.

My doctor is amazed how well my wound healed. Many forget that I am one-ear deaf as they speak to me. People are impressed with what I do to gain my resilience.

Keeping my “inner voice” in check at a healthy level, allows me to move forward while still acknowledging my emotions and loss.

I realised I have the emotional capacity to hold space for others who are grieving, energy that many are uncertain or feel uneasy about. I am comfortable in this zone.

How can I support you?

I practice ontological coaching that focus on the body, language and emotions. I truly believe that being authentic, vulnerable and open has become my strength to be with you in the process.

I am inspired to help men and women who are going through grief, pregnancy loss, or who are working to heal from it. I am with you.

We acknowledge the physical loss yet we do not need to be victimised by it.

Let us strengthen each other to heal and move forward with courage.

 

Did you know there are over 40 life experiences you might have that cause grief?

We’re indebted to psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe for the insightful research that led to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale. The now-famous scale details the 43 life events that are most liable to create feelings of grief, and in turn cause illness and other health-related problems. Although we use the word grief, rather than stress, we are in total accord with the list of grief-producing events. Our only problem with the list is that it is comparative and as such, ranks losses in a hierarchy on a point system. Since we believe all loss is experienced at 100%—even though not all losses are equal—we choose to present the list in the same order as Holmes-Rahe created it; with the only difference being that we omit the listing of point totals for each loss.

We’d like to point out that not all of the life experiences on the list would logically be viewed as stressors or grief or loss events. Note that near the top of the list is “marriage.” While we all know that the wedding day can be stressful, and that marriage is not without problems, we also know it’s often referred to as one of the greatest days of our lives. Additionally, the list includes “change in financial state,” which is not limited to losing money, but includes the impact of a sudden windfall, like winning the lottery.

 

Definition of Grief (by Grief Recovery Method)

“Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.”

In addition to the life-events listed, we add a few more under the heading of “intangible,” for example: Loss of Trust, Loss of Approval, Loss of Safety, and Loss of Control of my body, among others.

Grieving Events
  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Marital separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Death of a close family member
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Marriage
  • Dismissal from work
  • Marital reconciliation
  • Retirement
  • Change in health of family member
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Gain a new family member
  • Business readjustment
  • Change in financial state
  • Death of a close friend
  • Change to different line of work
  • Change in frequency of arguments
  • Major mortgage
  • Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
  • Change in eating habits
  • Vacation
  • Christmas
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Child leaving home
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Spouse starts or stops work
  • Begin or end school
  • Change in living conditions
  • Revision of personal habits
  • Trouble with boss
  • Change in working hours or conditions
  • Change in residence
  • Change in schools
  • Change in recreation
  • Change in church activities
  • Change in social activities
  • Minor mortgage or loan
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Change in number of family reunions
  • Minor violation of law
  • Loss of Trust, Loss of Approval, Loss of Safety and Loss of Control of my body

Source from Grief Recovery Method

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After losing 3 pregnancies, a mother is now helping other women cope with grief

There’s still a lot of stigma and shame when it comes to having a miscarriage and/or abortion. “What did I do that caused it? What else can I do? And where do I go from here?”

While pregnancy loss coaches are more commonly found in Western countries like Australia, Vernessa Chuah wasn’t able to find one in Asia. She wanted to become a pregnancy loss coach, to change how women view grief and help them move forward with hope. Every grief journey is different.

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Featured in Channel News Asia Lifestyle, Oct 2021

We decided this third pregnancy would become my third loss

“I watched the procedure take place and when her heart stopped beating, I was so heartbroken, I felt like my heart stopped together with hers. I cried so badly…Staying busy became my way to cope. Thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough” would seep in when I wasn’t doing something. I packed my activities back-to-back. I was always working and taking up new courses. But the restlessness I had was really a flight response. I constantly wanted to achieve more to prove my sense of worth. Being in stress mode actually made me feel good – cortisol can be addictive.”

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Featured in Sassy Mama Sg, Oct 2021

Baby Loss: A journey towards positive healing for men and women in Singapore

Both men and women experience grief after the tragedy of baby loss. But do they show it in the same way? We speak to Singapore’s first pregnancy and infant loss coach, Vernessa Chuah, to find out…

“Women like to externalise things in general by talking about their grief or tapping into their creative side through art and drawing. They are more open to searching for community support. Whereas men tend to internalise their feelings and prefer to find support by reading books or researching the internet for answers”, shares Vernessa. She also adds, “Men throw themselves deeper into activities like exercise or watching TV, as a means to dodge unpleasant emotions. Their survival mode tends to kick in to make sure their spouses are ok. This is when men portray a brave persona to the outside world.”

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Featured in HoneyKidsAsia, 13 Oct 2022

1 in 5 women will have a miscarriage in the first 3 months of pregnancy

Baby Loss Awareness Week. Vernessa Chuah has lost babies multiple times. She now helps others as a Pregnancy Loss and Grief Coach.

LISTEN TO CNA 938 RADIO

15:30 – 30-08″
Featured on CNA 938 Radio on 13 Oct 2022

Infertility In Singapore: Where To Get Support When The Struggle Is VERY Real

Despite riding this rollercoaster of emotions, some women and men are reluctant to turn to mental wellness professionals. “The public often assumes the people who seek out these facilities are ‘sick’, but these women are not sick, they want to heal,” says Vernessa, who adds, “Knowing who to go to for support is equally as important as knowing that support is available.”

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Featured in The Finder, Dec 2020

Postpartum Depression: Why Self-Care IS Child Care

It’s this baggage that can damage a mother’s mental health, as well as her ability to be “present”. “We cannot support our children and family, if we are running thin and on 10-percent battery all the time,” says Vernessa, a mother of a 3-year-old daughter.

“Without some validation, mothers can feel like they are in a ‘pressure cooker’,” she says, adding that “a judgement-free zone is important”. In her Mother’s Circle group, women practise journalling and verbalising their thoughts to help find their voice.

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Featured in The Finder, Sep 2021

Support Available

Pregnancy Loss Coaching

You might feel stuck, a sense of loss and uncertainty. You are not sure what to do next. Everything feels upside down and gloomy. ‘How long will this last? Why you? What is your story?

Explore ontological coaching of your WAY OF BEING in your body, emotions and language. Honour the emotions, and sense your body on what it wants or need with somatic work. Be curious about how is your story serving and not serving you. When you create a different observation, you create new possibilities. With more awareness, you have more power to make choices, freeing yourself from being victimised by the story

Pregnancy Loss Coaching with Vernessa

Rates: $180 per session x minimum 6 sessions
Duration: 90 minutes per session
Include Ontological Coaching, Mindfulness Practice / Somatic Experience, Creative Arts / Journaling

Grief Recovery Method

In the event you need more than just coaching, with me as a Certified Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, you have the option to dive deeper into the Grief Recovery Method. This is an evidence-based method that is internationally recognised.

You are empowered with tools that you can take action for other grief and loss in your lifetime, with the aim to complete the emotional pain and any undelivered communication. There are more than forty types of grief and loss. More information at www.griefrecoverymethod.com.

The Grief Recovery Method consist of seven sessions with tools to support you in the different types of losses. This method is not intended to be or substitute for professional medical or mental health services. Pregnancy Loss Coaching with Vernessa

Rates: $180 per session x minimum 7 sessions
Duration: 60 – 90 minutes per session
Include Grief Recovery Book and Workbook

 

Pregnancy Loss Journal

No words can describe this loss. Grief is raw and messy, not something that can be neatly wrapped in a bow.

You are experiencing a bag of emotions and stretching to the limit of human pain. In these moments, breathe. It’s okay not to be okay all the time. You’re allowed to feel and be as you are. This is your experience and no one else’s.

Journaling can be therapeutic and healing. This book is designed with blank spaces for you to explore. Fill the empty pages with your words, drawings, poems and memories of your child who is so precious to you.

When you articulate your thoughts and emotions with paper and pen, you give meaning to the process and acknowledge how you feel. This book is your ‘mind space’ that is safe and free from judgment, criticism and advice.

There is no right or wrong way to process a loss. Grief makes way for healing so thank you for being courageous and willing to be vulnerable to process it. You are enough.

Part 1: Release
Part 2: Heal
Part 3: Moving Forward

Available at SGD$25 (free delivery within Singapore)
WhatsApp +65 9783 7313

Rise Up

Each Story is a Treasure of Practical Lessons to learn as authors bare all in powerful accounts of their personal struggles and their journey to rise up and inspire others going through a similar journey.

Available at SGD$22 (free delivery within Singapore)
WhatsApp +65 9783 7313

Videos

Grief kicks in when your body is failing you, with Dr. Martha Lee

90% losses are due to chromosomal abnormalities, with Dr. Anupriya