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Firm, wide-ranging support for couples who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or ectopic pregnancy. Psychiatrist Friedman and infertility counselor Gradstein, both of whom have had personal and professional experience with such a loss, legitimize the grieving process that affected parents experience--unlike physicians, friends, and family, who tend to dismiss the deep attachment that a mother and father can develop to an unborn child. Statistically, 15 in 100 pregnancies end in miscarriage, 1 in 80 in delivery of a stillborn child, and 1 in 100 in an ectopic pregnancy. Common to all three situations are excruciating grief and yearning, coupled with guilt (were we somehow responsible?) and an air of unreality, as parents find that ""the attachment one feels towards one's future child,"" and therefore the mourning process, ""may not be shared with anyone else."" For each of the three types of loss, Friedman and Gradstein then describe the physical process and causes, the treatment and recovery from it, and the unique emotional reactions--illustrated in each instance by personal accounts from affected couples. Of special value is the discussion of ""The Experience for Those Close to You"": a husband may not understand his wife's physical or emotional distress, children will have trouble comprehending, family and friends may ignore the experience altogether. The book closes with some material more extensively treated in infertility guides (trying to get pregnant, adoption)--but always with an eye on the special audience. A welcome guide altogether: medically sound and knowingly sympathetic.

Pub Date: July 12th, 1982
Publisher: Little, Brown