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.
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.”
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.”
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.
15:30 – 30-08″
Featured on CNA 938 Radio on 13 Oct 2022
Support for couples who have had miscarriages
Coping with the emotional toll of 3 miscarriages
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.”
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.
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
Wave of Light
October 9 – 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Week, bringing awareness and light to this not-talked-much-about topic.
A time for bereaved parents to honour our beloved babies who were taken from you far too soon. Your precious child is no longer with you here physically, yet they are always a part of you and your family. Taking the time to acknowledge your love and hope for a different future.
Wave of Light happens around the world on Oct 15, 7pm (whichever time zone you are at) where we honour our beloved babies who are dearly loved and forever missed.
As people in each time zone light a candle at 7pm and keep it burning for one hour. It creates a 24 hour “wave of light” as it moves around the world where grieving parents come together to remember our babies who were taken from us far too soon.
We hold a safe and healing space when we come together with our vulnerabilities. We can express our emotions and still move forward with this beautiful energy of grief.
Together with the power of community, we release and heal with yoga movement, sound healing, art and sharing.
Restorative Yoga by Teacher Dawn, be attuned with your body and emotions as you slow down. Giving yourself space to process, acknowledge and accept.
Sound Healing by Wendy Lum, Founder of Wenyogaheal. She is the first Therapy Harp and Euphone Sound Healer in Singapore. She is certified to play Gong and Alchemy Crystal Bowls too and is also a Reiki Level 3 Practitioner.
Grief Support Circle with art expression, journaling and sharing by Vernessa Chuah. The first pregnancy and infant loss in SouthEast Asia, an advanced grief recovery specialist.
12 Oct (Thu)
6:30 – 9:30pm
3 hours of grief support circle, restorative yoga and sound healing
Mindful Space, 10 winstedt road, Block A 02-02, S227977
Open for bereaved mums, dads, and grandparents to honour our children who are gone too soon
$15 for commitment and energy exchange. Candle, yoga mat and art materials are provided
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Circle
Courage is when you choose to show up for yourself even when you feel uncertain.
In this support circle, I facilitate and hold a safe space together with you. Expanding your capacity to show up for yourself.
A pregnancy or infant loss 15 years ago, or 15 days ago is still a loss. A physical part of you was taken away, yet it does not take away your self-worth.
This group is open to all men and women.
You go through a journey of mindfulness, sharing, art or journaling together as a group.
If you are currently pregnant, yet still want to process or acknowledge your previous loss. You are most welcome to join.
Just message 9783 7313 to inform, so I can pre-frame the circle and be more trauma-informed.
You are not alone.
You are enough for who you are, not what you give, not what your provide, not what you do.
Here, we embrace you for who you are.
You are heard.
You are seen.
Duration: 120 minutes
Capacity: 8 pax
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
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