Mother’s Day for Women Who Have Lost Children


For women who have experienced the loss of a baby or child, Mother’s Day can evoke a whirlwind of emotions. There are reminders of what is missing; as part of that grief, there may be anger and resentment.  As this day approaches, you must extend your compassion and remember that you are not alone. Mother’s Day for women who have lost children can be incredibly complex. 

grieving mom giving woman hug
Credit: Renata Hamuda for istock

For reference, here are some statistics I found:

  • 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation).
  • 1 in 100 pregnancies is impacted by stillbirth (the death of a baby after 20 weeks gestation).
  • 1 in 55 pregnancies results in pregnancy loss as a result of termination for medical reasons (TFMR) (It is difficult to find statistics on this type of loss due to the stigma that surrounds it.)

In honor of the women who have navigated the loss of a baby or child, International Bereaved Mother’s Day occurs on the 1st Sunday of May.  This day serves as a way to acknowledge the impact of having the identity of being a mother while missing the child(ren) who has given you that role.

Please note: You can choose how/if you want to celebrate Mother’s Day. Honoring which community feels best aligned with your identity as a mom is essential. And… spoiler alert… you can celebrate BOTH days!

As you navigate this time of year, you must honor yourself and your needs.  To guide you through that process, here are some considerations:

Embrace Your Emotions

On Bereaved Mother’s Day, you feel whatever emotions surface is okay. Whether it’s sadness, anger, or a sense of emptiness, allow yourself to acknowledge and embrace your feelings without judgment. Grief is a complex journey, and every emotion you experience reflects the love you hold for your child.

Honor Your Child’s Memory

Take this opportunity to honor and celebrate the precious life that was taken too soon. Light a candle, visit a particular place, or engage in a cherished activity that reminds you of your little one. Creative endeavors, such as journaling or drawing, are ways to document your connection.

Extend Self-Care and Compassion

Amidst the waves of grief, remember to prioritize self-care and compassion. Give yourself to rest, seek support, and engage in activities that bring you comfort and joy. Whether it’s spending time in nature, journaling your thoughts, or indulging in a favorite hobby, prioritize moments of self-nurturing amidst the challenges of this day.

Seek Support

Contact trusted friends, family members, or support groups who can offer validation. Surround yourself with individuals who understand the complexities and can provide empathetic support as you navigate this difficult day.  Please know that there are mental health providers who have expertise in supporting mothers and families who have lost a child.

Find Meaning in Rituals

In addition, could you consider incorporating meaningful rituals into your day to honor your journey as a grieving mother? Whether planting a tree, donating to a charity, or writing a letter to your child, find rituals that resonate with you and provide a sense of connection and comfort.

Embrace Hope and Healing

As you navigate Bereaved Mother’s Day, remember that your journey is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Be gentle with yourself, honor your emotions, and hold onto the love that continues to bind you to your child, now and always.


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Jane Johnson Wall
Jane has lived in RI for the past 20 years or so, returning to the area after a brief stint of living in Southern California. She is a licensed marriage & family therapist (LMFT) and is certified in perinatal & maternal mental health (PMH-C). She loves working with moms because she loves being a mom. Her practice is women-centered, and she loves helping women feel empowered and connected to their inner bad-ass as they navigate through the various phases of their lives. She wants women to feel supported as they dismantle the internalized expectations they have unconsciously adapted. However, the role that has given her the strongest sense of achievement (and, in all honesty, her biggest sense of struggle) is being a mom. Her own journey into motherhood was a complex and quick one, as her girls are only 15 months apart! Although her daughters are now young adults, she notes that the twists and turns of parenting are timeless. Each developmental stage (and its struggles) prepare us for the next stage. She is embracing having kids who are away at college, but loves to go and visit them. She's well-versed in food allergies, as her family has a variety of them! She hopes that she is never forced to choose between having access to the beach and access to the mountains. She spent the decade of her 20's living in Huntington Beach, CA, and 90’s alternative music is her soundtrack. She is a big believer in “energy” and our ability to manifest. She does an abundance practice on the first of every month, and does full/new moon rituals, incorporating things like journaling, tarot cards, and crystals.


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