Loss, Grief & Depression

When a pregnancy ends

When a pregnancy ends early, in whatever circumstances, it can be a devastating time for a woman.  Men can also be deeply affected.

Whether the pregnancy was planned or unplanned, you may experience a range of feelings which include disbelief, sadness, emptiness, anger, disappointment and a sense of isolation. These are normal feelings that we experience after a loss.

However for you they may have been unanticipated, especially if your pregnancy was unplanned. You may be overwhelmed and confused trying to make sense of the way you feel.

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Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat – a spiritual healing journey after abortion

2018 Retreats: March 23-25, July 20-22, Nov 23-25 Enquiries - anne@opendoors.com.au
About Rachel's Vineyard Retreats

Rachel's Vineyard Retreat is a beautiful opportunity for healing for any woman or man who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion. It's a chance to get away from the daily pressures of work and family, to focus on a painful time in life, and to begin healing through a supportive and non-judgmental process.

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Creating Memories – ways to remember your baby

It doesn't matter if you lost your baby due to miscarriage, termination, ectopic pregnancy, IVF or stillbirth - feelings of grief are natural.  When you lose your baby you may feel a pressure to get on with your life. However, your relationship with your baby doesn't end when your baby dies.

Your grief is visible evidence of that. Your attachment continues and you long for your child. A loss early in the pregnancy is difficult as you may not have seen your baby or may not have known whether it was  a boy or a girl. This may cause you confusion about the depth of the loss you feel. Making your child real is a way to help you grieve.

There are a number of ways you can do this. Be imaginative and do what seems most meaningful to you. Remember - it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. This is about you and the loss of your baby.

Here are some suggestions for acknowledging and remembering your baby:

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Understanding and Managing Peri Natal Depression and Anxiety

Just 'the baby blues' or something more?woman thinking
The peri natal period describes the period from conception to 1 year after the birth. In the past we have tended to just focus on depression in the period after the birth (PND - Post Natal Depression.) However 1 in 10 expectant mums and 1 in 20 expectant dads experience depression during the pregnancy and may also need some support at this time.

Some mood changes and anxieties are expected with any normal pregnancy but where symptoms persist or are not manageable with the support of family and friends, you may need to reach out for further support from a caring professional.

This article outlines the various ways in which anxiety and depression may affect a person across the peri natal period.

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Relinquishing a baby

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, adoption is one option open to the pregnant woman.  This can seem like the best solution where terminating the pregnancy goes against the grain.  The aim for the mother is to provide her baby with as good as environment as possible - it’s a decision born out of love.

However, giving up her child to adoption comes with its own experiences of grief.  It is a grief that’s like no other as there’s no identified grieving process.  This leaves the mother to take up her life again and act like the pregnancy never happened.  She’s left to get by as best she can.

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‘Baby & Me’ – getting ahead of post natal depression

Being a new mum can be challenging...

Do you have a baby under 12 months old? Are you struggling to cope, feeling flat, sad or depressed?  The Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression Program has been developed by the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) in conjunction with Austin Health.  Open Doors counsellors are specially trained to deliver this 12-week program which consists of 9 group therapy sessions for you, 3 sessions with your partner and comprehensive follow up care.  The program is low cost and includes babysitting options.

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Jasmine’s Story

“Who does a young guy talk to about this kind of situation? Talk to the wrong group of friends and you get told you were lucky – you’ve got a second chance at life – that’s not how I saw it at all.”

(A man looks back at the time his girlfriend had an abortion and what followed for them both.  A true story. )

When I was around the age of 19 my girlfriend came to me one day and told me we were going to have a baby.

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Coping with depression

Depression may affect anyone, regardless of age, social standing or profession.

This article describes what depression is and looks at the common causes and symptoms, as well as some of the myths about depression. Ways of seeking help and reducing daily stress are suggested. 


Our moods can vary according to our circumstances; our environment and relationships also may be affected by the changes in our day to day living. We have all felt “down” at some stage of our lives. Sometimes events obviously cause us more distress and our mood may become depressed for an extended period.

Everyday, temporary “blues” or sadness is not depression; nor is the normal grief caused by the death of a loved one. People with the “blues” and normal grief may experience short-term symptoms of depression, but generally continue to function almost normally and soon recover without treatment.

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Experiences of grief

A Guide to Understanding the Grieving Process “We become more fragile, sensitive and vulnerable when struggling with our loss. Everything seems to impact on us more.”    This article explores the various phases of grief and the wide range of feelings and reactions that may be experienced after any loss.

There are many aspects of grief, however everyone does not necessarily go through every experience, nor do they go through them in any set order. Each person has his or her own timetable and his or her own style of grief. You may struggle with several feelings at the same time. The depth and duration of each experience is different for everyone. You may experience a feeling briefly, intermittently or struggle with it daily.

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Supporting a friend in pregnancy loss…

“The loss of a child during pregnancy is experienced as a death and brings with it feelings of emptiness, loss and despair.”

This article will help you understand the grief associated with pregnancy loss and offers suggestions for those wishing to effectively help and support someone in that situation.


Pregnancy loss is a painful and often lonely experience; one that may be played down or even totally overlooked. However, the loss of a child during pregnancy is experienced as a death and brings with it feelings of emptiness, loss and despair.

The grief that follows is related to a disruption of the body and mind’s preparation for motherhood. Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, IVF losses, abortion and stillbirth all disrupt this preparation, leaving the woman in a state of physical and emotional readiness for a baby that will never be.

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