Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support. She is a writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother to two beautiful daughters and one sweet-cheeked little boy. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora, was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December of 2012. Her second daughter, Zoe, was born healthy and alive in March of 2014. Her writing about life after loss has been featured on Still Standing Magazine, Listen to Your Mother, Scary Mommy, Healthline, Postpartum Progress, and The New York Times.
Riddled with anxiety and fear during her subsequent pregnancy, Lindsey wanted so much to enjoy the new life growing inside of her and experience joy. But, she struggled to hold onto hope and let joy in as she fought with the daily fear of losing her second child throughout the nine months of pregnancy that followed the death of her first daughter. Lindsey felt uncertain as to where she belonged in online communities while pregnant with her second daughter. She often found it difficult to discuss new life with others who had just experienced death in the bereaved online communities but then worried that she could not share stories of her loss in non-bereaved mom focused spaces. This was why when her daughter, Zoe, was born safe and sound fifteen months after her first daughter was stillborn, she had the idea of starting an online magazine and peer-to-peer support nonprofit focused on the experience of the mom pregnant again after loss began.
Since Pregnancy After Loss Support was founded in June of 2014, the staff and team of volunteers at PALS have supported over 60,000 members during their pregnancies that follow devastating losses, started over ten in-person peer support groups across North America, provided educational outreach around the world around to healthcare professional about the emotional support needs of families pregnant after loss, raised national awareness of the emotional journey of pregnancy after loss through their awareness campaign with the launch of their annual Waddle Walk, and in 2021 plans to launch the first app specifically designed with the mom pregnant after a loss in mind.
One mother described the impact of Lindsey’s work on her own life.
“You’ve been such an inspiration in my journey with grief and healing. I’m so glad I found you because you sharing your story helped me in my darkest days.”
– A mom on the impact of PALS and Lindsey Henke
Lindsey hopes PALS continues to grow and focuses on her original goal, that no one has to feel out of place or alone while they walk the fearful tightrope of balancing hope and fear, grief and joy, through the nine months of their pregnancy after loss. She hopes that if a bereaved mother struggles to hold on to hope for her future then PALS will nurture and hold onto that hope for her. Lindsey reminds loss moms who are pregnant after losing one baby.
“This is a different pregnancy, a different baby, a different story, with a different ending.”
– Lindsey Henke
For more information about PALS, or to make a donation to support their work click here.
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