Pregnancy loss can be one of the most difficult things a family faces. It is so important to talk openly and honestly about the feelings of grief that one may experience during this time. Grief is a natural, but complicated process-there are many different ways to handle it, but for those who find peace through reading, books can be a valuable resource in order to find closure. I have created a list of 24 books to read after a miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
It’s hard to know what to do when you’re grieving and it can be hard to find the right words. That’s why I’ve put together this list of books that might help you through this difficult time. They are all about pregnancy loss, but they each have their own unique perspective on how best to cope with the pain of losing a child.
There are both fiction and non-fiction options to choose from. There are even some great choices written specifically for children.
Read below to see the full list of the 24 best books to read after a miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
You might also like our post on A to Z Emotions of Pregnancy Loss: Understanding the Grief Process.
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Best Non-Fiction Books for Pregnancy Loss
1. The Miscarriage Map: What To Expect When You Are No Longer Expecting – Dr. Sunita Osborn writes about the realities of going through a pregnancy loss and the emotions surrounding it. She writes about her own loss experience and even includes a bit of humor. For anyone who has been through a loss, you know that those little bits of humor can be much needed at times. Osborn has also created The Miscarriage Map Workbook that helps you work through the emotions of pregnancy loss.
2. I Had A Miscarriage- Jessica Zucker has spent her career working in reproductive and maternal mental health. She lost her own daughter at 5 months pregnant. She writes about the trifecta of silence, stigma, and shame that surround pregnancy loss. Zucker shares her story along with other women’s stories to paint a full picture of grief after pregnancy loss.
3. Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving With Hope After Miscarriage And Loss – Adriel Booker – This book is great for anyone who is religious and struggling after a miscarriage or loss. It is written by Booker, who experienced several pregnancy losses. Her faith in God carried her through the process, and she hopes it will help others do the same. She uses the book to talk about grief surrounding loss from a Christian perspective and help you find ways to honor your baby.
4. Not Broken: An Approachable Guide to Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – Lora Shahine MD – Shahine is a board-certified OB/GYN that has helped many women through fertility, pregnancy loss, and pregnancy. She talks about the physical pain of miscarriage as well as the emotional pain of losing a child. She talks about both Western and Eastern medicine approaches to care.
5. Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss – Sarah Philpott – Philpott’s book was created to help mothers who have gone through a miscarriage or other pregnancy loss. She shares 31 devotions that will help comfort women and help them grieve after their loss. This is a Christian centered book that includes tips on various things from how to handle social media to being able to reconnect with your partner.
6. You Are Not Alone: Love Letters From Loss Mom to Loss Mom – Emily R Long– Long has lost two daughters and is a grief and trauma therapist. This book is full of letters written from loss moms to other mothers going through a loss. Sometimes the only people that can truly understand what we have gone through is someone who has gone through the same thing. You can take comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone by reading the words of others who have also experienced loss.
7. Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination – Elizabeth McCracken – McCracken tells her story of living in France, being happily married, and waiting on the birth of her first child. She loses her son at nine months pregnant, when he is stillborn. McCracken discusses the loss and the emotional aftermath of her experience.
8. Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much Wanted Pregnancy – Christie Brooks – No one should ever have to make the choice that these women, and many others, have had to make. A termination for medical reasons (TFMR) is an area that does not receive enough support. Women often feel judged for the choice they have to make. The women in this book all share their stories of having to make this difficult choice.
9. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma – Bessel van der Kolk – This book is not specific to pregnancy loss, but is still relevant and helpful. It discusses how trauma can reshape the body and brain in many ways. Different treatment options are also examined to help people learn how to move through the trauma, so that we are no longer inhibited.
10. They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth – Janel C. Atlas – Atlas lost her second daughter when she was 36 weeks pregnant. She has complied stories that are from mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss. Also included are letters from other family members, like fathers and grandparents. Finally, there are letters that may help to answer some medical questions families may have after a loss.
11. What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color – Shannon Gibney – This book is a collection of stories all from native women or women of color. These are stories from women populations that are sometimes overlooked or not often talked about.
Best Fiction Books for Pregnancy Loss
1. The Snow Child: A Novel – Eowyn Ivey – After suffering a stillbirth, a couple moves to Alaska to become homesteaders. They build a child out of snow, who disappears the next morning. A young girl appears, named Faina, and the couple starts to love her as their own daughter. But she may not be as she appears.
2. The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman– Tom and his wife move to an isolated island off the coast of Australia. A few years later, they have suffered two miscarriages and a stillbirth. They find a boat washed ashore with a dead man and a living baby. The couple claims the child as their own and eventually return to the mainland, where they have to live with the consequences of their choice.
3. The End of Miracles: A Novel – Monica Starkman – This book tells the story of a woman who struggles with infertility and pregnancy loss. She experiences a false pregnancy, but falls into a depression when she is thrown back to reality and has to be hospitalized in a mental hospital. She then commits an act that has huge consequences for herself and others.
4. Fallen Grace – Mary Hooper – This is a historical fiction book that takes place in Victorian England. Grace and her sister are orphans. Grace gets pregnant and suffers a stillbirth. The loss puts her on a new path and she must figure out how to claim an unusual legacy that they are the secret recipients of.
5. Forever Innocent (The Forever Series) – Deanna Roy – Roy writes the story of a college couple, Corabelle and Gavin, who has to disconnect their 7 day old baby from life support. Gavin disappears after the funeral, only to reappear 4 years later. He tries to win Corabelle back and get her forgiveness. She wants to return to him, but has secrets of her own that could ruin everything.
6. What Alice Forgot- Liane Moriarty – This story tells of a woman who is twenty-nine, pregnant and happily married. She awakens on a gym floor and finds out she thirty-nine, has three children, and is getting divorced. Alice must figure out what happened over the last ten years and why her sister won’t speak to her. This book address miscarriage through her sister, instead of through the main character.
7. Baby Dust: A Novel about Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss – Deanna Roy – This story is based on the stories of many real life women. It talks about the experiences of five different women who experienced loss and are in a support group together.
8. The Library at the Edge of the World: A Novel – Felicity Hayes-McCoy – A few years after having a miscarriage, Hanna leaves her husband and returns to her hometown in Ireland to become the local librarian. She must help to restore her community learn to rely on her neighbors.
Best Children’s Books for Pregnancy Loss
1. We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel instead – Pat Schwiebrt – This book was created specifically for children and uses child friendly language. The author seems to intend this book to be for younger children and does not shy away from using direct language. The book will say “the baby died” instead of “the baby was born sleeping.” It would be great to read together as a family to help your living children understand what happened.
2. Perfectly Imperfect Family – Amie Lands – The story tells of a brother who is born after the loss of his sister. He tries to include her in every day life, along with all the special celebrations his family has.
3. Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss – Laura Olivieri – Though this book is not specific to pregnancy loss, it does discuss loss in general. This is a good choice for young children as well because it writes in relatable and easy terms.
4. Mommy Says I Have a Brother – Stephany Resendes – This book was created to help open up the conversation between parents and their living children about pregnancy, infant, or child loss.
5. Something Happened: A Book for Children and Parents Who Have Experienced Pregnancy Loss – Cathy Blanford – The book talks addresses the various feelings that children may experience after losing a sibling. It also talks about how the family continues to move forward with life, while still remembering the baby they lost.
Reading is a way to connect with others who have gone through a similar experience. It can also help us to deepen our understanding of our emotions and what we are going through. I hope you find a book here that you resonate with and will help you through your grief. If you have any other books that have helped you, I would love to hear what they are.
If you have experienced pregnancy loss, you might be interested in reading A to Z Emotions of Pregnancy Loss: Understanding the Grief Process or Thoughtful Gift Ideas For Fathers Who Have Lost A Child.
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