Why Father's Day Can Be Triggering For Men Who have Experienced Pregnancy Loss and Infertility

Just writing the word Pregnancy Loss, Infertility and Father's Day seems unusual. Because men are often the forgotten mourners of pregnancy loss, and infertility and Father's Day can be a reminder of what they do not have.

Acknowledging a man’s journey through pregnancy loss is a huge passion of mine. There is not much resource out there to support pregnancy loss in general, and there is even LESS which acknowledges the story of loss for men.

In our Pregnancy Loss Reflection Services which we hosted on the Gold Coast, the amount of men that would come to those mornings was so surprising. Some would come to support their families, wife, daughter or friend. But even the word 'support' denotes that they are not the ones grieving. And that is not the truth at all. When individuals turned up on their own to these services, it was always more men than women that came on their own.

Maybe it is because a man would possibly not invite someone to come and support him in his grief, but also it also indicated the nature of the grief was often attached to shame, guilt or embarrassment that he was even there.

In "Helping Men with the Trauma of Miscarriage," published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training in 2010, Kiselica and Martha Rinehart, PhD, looked at case studies of men whose partners had lost a baby. And I reference their work in this article.

Here are a few reasons why men are forgotten in relation to this issue; and leading into Father's Day I want to honour the men in our world who carry this and do not feel like they have a safe place to process.

  1. Men often do not feel entitled to their grief 

Dan Singley, a San Diego–based psychologist who focuses on men’s mental health and reproductive psychology and is the media chair for Postpartum Support International, said men in our culture are socialized to be stoic.