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Why It’s OK to Grieve Pregnancy Loss

4 reasons you should take time to acknowledge your emotions after a pregnancy loss.

Why It’s OK to Grieve Pregnancy Loss

Culture has a tough time with grief. Especially when it comes to the loss of a pregnancy, a majority of people feel stymied--not quite sure what to say, what to do, how to be. This age-old ethos has got to change, if only because the women and families going through these losses are in desperate need of support and connection. Silence is not proving helpful.

We can change the current cultural landscape by lending an ear, by being present, by showing up for the pain and for the hope. In so doing, we shift the focus from relational distance to emotional intimacy--showing up in a whole new way and fortifying our relationships. Here’s 4 reasons you should take the time to grieve your pregnancy loss.

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  1. Pregnancy loss is more common than you think. Research has found that approximately 20% of pregnancies result in loss. This number can be quite daunting for those on the precipice of family building. But for those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, this number might be incredibly comforting, especially during dark moments silently wondering "why me?!" Loss can be isolating and has a way of making people feel singled out in their misfortune, despite the significant numbers of people grieving. It's important to remember that bereavement comes in all shapes and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mourning and no timeline applies. Moreover, there is no right or wrong way to navigate the aftermath of loss. We do, however, benefit greatly from being aware of our thoughts and feelings.

  1. Sink in. Staving off feelings makes them stick. Though it might seem antithetical, rushing heartache typically has the hurt hold on that much tighter, longing to be acknowledged. It makes intuitive sense to scurry away from uncomfortable feelings, but when it comes to loss and grief, we ultimately benefit from sinking into our sadness rather than eschewing it. Just as we need to attend to physical aches and pains in our bodies to maintain well-being, our emotions deserve recognition and attunement.

  1. Authenticity. Showing up for whatever it is you are feeling is the most efficient and authentic remedy for the pain of pregnancy loss. Here's the thing: whatever you are feeling, other women have felt. You are far from alone and you will readily learn this as soon as you open up and share your story. Though our culture tends to pressure us to rush back to happiness, we only get there when we get there. Being honest with ourselves is more important than pasting a smile on our face if we aren't there yet. Self-imposed platitudes (i.e. "Well at least I know I can get pregnant") often have a boomerang effect. In this moment there might not need to be a bright side or a silver lining and that's okay. The upside is that feelings are ever-changing and what you're feeling today will morph into something different tomorrow.

  1. Compassion for yourself. You did nothing to deserve this loss--an important mantra to repeat if your mind wanders to self-blaming places. Embodying self-compassion is the surest way to gently journey through this challenging period. Shoving down difficult feelings rarely (if ever) successfully eradicates them, and tucking feelings away attempting to ignore them most definitely doesn't lead to joy. After experiencing hardship we want so badly to feel better quickly. But if we don't or we can't or it simply feels out of reach, self-empathy is a beautiful skill to hone in the meantime.

Written by Dr. Jessica Zucker. Dr. Zucker is a Los Angeles based psychologist and writer specializing in women's reproductive and maternal mental health. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and elsewhere. She launched the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign with her first New York Times piece in 2014 and is the creator of a line of pregnancy loss cards: shop.drjessicazucker.com

Image above from the Pregnancy Loss Card collection. Buy it here.

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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All the things that were left unsaid during the first presidential debate and why it matters

What parents need to know about President Trump's first debate against Joe Biden.

CNN/Screenshot

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Parents in America have been living in survival mode for half a year now. Mothers are depleted and burned out, but most plan to use some of their precious-little energy to vote in the upcoming presidential election. According to a recent survey by Peanut, 93% of moms will be voting on November 3.

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The "mom vote" will be very important in this election. The Democratic Party is counting on moms who are angry with President Donald Trump, while a Republican PAC called Moms for Safe Neighborhoods hopes its 30-second ad is scary enough to convince suburban moms to re-elect the sitting president.

But this election isn't about mom rage versus maternal fear. It's about looking forward to a future where both are reduced. That is what America's moms really want, and need.

The two men vying for the leadership of America would do well to remember that, and should be paying more attention to the issues that impact families every day.

On Tuesday night when they took the debate stage for the first time, President Trump and Joe Biden talked about a lot of topics (sometimes at the same time), but they missed some real opportunities to talk to American mothers.

Here's why that matters:

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