Book Review: Pregnancy After Loss by Zoe Clark-Coates

If you have experienced a pregnancy loss or multiple losses, I 100% recommend getting yourself this journal.

As of today, I’m 16 weeks pregnant with our 8th baby, and I am so grateful for that. Having experienced two traumatic losses in the past–my daughter Kit at 6 months old due to a severe CHD and my son Shepherd at 19 weeks gestation–pregnancy is difficult for me, so when a friend recommended this guided journal / book, I immediately ordered it.

Pregnancy After Loss: a Day-by-Day plan has two sections–the first section begins with Zoe’s own story of loss and grief, then gives advice and step-by-step instructions on grounding and calming techniques to reduce anxiety before appointments or significant dates. It includes a “pregnancy advent calendar” where you color in a little block on a heart for each week you make it past–sounds cheesy, I know, but when every week feels like an eternity, it is a nice feeling to pull out those colored pencils and see your progress!

The second half of the book is a day by day journal; each day has a spot to write what you are grateful for, and the content for the day varies. Sometimes there are questions answered by professionals, sometimes places to write how you are feeling or what gestation your baby is at. Sometimes there are personal stories, helpfully shaded gray in case you find stories triggering and want to skip them (I don’t–I feel like they help me connect to other women who have survived, but I can see how they could be triggering and I appreciate the author’s thoughtfulness in shading them gray to make them easy to spot and skip).

This journal / book is so good because the author has lived through this loss herself. It is exactly what I myself would have chosen to put into a book or journal for a woman who is experiencing pregnancy-after-loss (PAL)–she knows the fears, the worries, the anxieties that are particular to this kind of grief. So often family and friends want to help, but they haven’t lived it; they can’t–thank goodness, I am glad for them!–completely know. I am so grateful to Zoe for putting this resource out there–it bridges a gap in mental health care for women experiencing the difficulties of PAL, and, for me, has been invaluable on this journey.


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