Abortion Grief

Reactions following abortion can vary from relief and a quick return to normal through to extended and deep feelings of regret and distress. It is not uncommon to feel sadness and regret immediately following the procedure for a limited period of time and this reaction is exacerbated by the fading presence of pregnancy hormones.

For some women however, the grief following abortion does not abate and for others, it can be months or years after that they experience an emotional reaction to what has happened. These women can experience an array of distressing symptoms that can be triggered by many things such as the break up of a relationship, the birth of another child, seeing a pregnant women or a significant date such as Mother's Day.

Seeking supportive counselling is an important step towards processing the aftermath of unexpected feelings and resolving the grief they are experiencing.

Sonya Lawler - Abortion Grief Counselling

Abortion is an option for an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy that many women choose across a wide range of ages and social settings. Most of the time it is a choice that has come about through the pressure of circumstances and is complicated by anxiety, stress and shock. For some women it feels like they had no choice and no time at all to consider their options. Outside pressure whether from a partner, family, cultural or social made any other choice seem impossible.

It can be very difficult to seek help if you are experiencing distress following an abortion. You may be feeling isolated  and shocked by sadness, grief or guilt. You may have been advised by well-meaning friends and family that you ought to feel OK now, or should put it behind you and move on with your lives.  

Those around you don't seem to understand the pain that you are going through or know how to help you. But it is important to understand that you are not on your own; that many of the symptoms you are experiencing are associated with a significant grief reaction; and that help is available.

The following are some common symptoms reported by women that are associated with an abortion grief reaction:

  • Loss of concentration
  • Reliving the abortion
  • Frequent crying
  • Feelings of guilt and remorse
  • Emotional numbness
  • Loss of sexual pleasure
  • Anniversary reactions
  • Flashbacks
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Hearing a baby cry
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Repeat abortions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Alienation
  • Memory loss
  • Relationship problems
  • Extreme sadness
  • Physical symptoms (headaches, abdominal pain etc)

If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms or are finding it hard to cope counselling can help you.

Find help

To arrange counselling contact me or call 0422 748 545, or if you do not live in the area but do live in NSW you can ring the Pregnancy Assistance line 1300 792 798.