Updated: Feb 14, 2022
The Living with Loss (LWL) Program is an online support program for parents following the death of their baby through stillbirth or neonatal death. LWL has been developed by the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence and other research partners. Crucially, it was co-designed by parents and healthcare professionals. LWL aims to provide a support option focused on evidence-based tools and coping strategies proven to help parents navigate their grief. This blog post aims to introduce the program to Possum Blog readers.
Overview of the program
The LWL program features six interactive, easy-to-use modules that follow a group of fictional parents who have experienced the death of their babies. Combining best available research with parent and healthcare professional feedback, each topic has been carefully created to provide you with some approaches to help with common challenges faced by bereaved parents.
Module 1: Understanding Grief
This first module in the Living with Loss (LWL) program focuses on understanding your own grief after your baby has died. It includes some practical strategies to help manage some of the emotional aspects of grief as well as the physical signs of grieving such as headaches and muscle tension, or panic.
Module 2: Managing Intense Feelings
Intense feelings such as guilt, anger, blame, sadness, loneliness, and many others are a normal part of grief. But at times they can be overwhelming. This module focuses on identifying and managing those feelings to help you find ways to feel less overwhelmed and distressed by them over time.
Module 3: Balancing Thoughts
This module is about your thoughts and how they affect how you feel and what you do. Grief can sometimes lead to unhelpful thoughts taking over, leaving little room for positive thoughts, feelings, or actions. This module focuses on ways that might help to keep some of those unhelpful thoughts in check so that you can improve how you feel.
Module 4: Facing Hard Situations and Conversations
Facing certain social situations, significant dates and some conversations can be difficult. This module will provide some practical strategies to help you as you face times that might be challenging for you, including going back to work and engaging in social situations.
Module 5: Strengthening Relationships and Communication
The loss of a baby can have a major effect on relationships: with your partner, family, friends, and others in the community. This module looks at the different ways we grieve and shares strategies to help with communicating confidently, asking for help, and setting boundaries with others, as well as how to reconnect with loved ones.
Module 6: The Future
This is the final module in the Living with Loss (LWL) program. Thinking about and planning for a future without your baby can be hard. This final module explores how your grief might change over time. It focuses on some of the ways parents find meaning and renewed purpose over the longer-term.
The program organisers are currently recruiting parents who have experienced stillbirth or neonatal death in the past two years to participate in a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of this new online program.
If you are interested in participating, please click here.