Empty Arms Bereavement

Termination for Medical Reasons Support

This page is intended for those experiencing a termination for medical reasons.

Many times, people find that they leave the ER, hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic with their heads spinning. They've been given information and a menu of options of what might come next, but when they get home they find themselves wanting more. They might feel they need more facts or may be desperate to know what this experience might be like. Some just feel alone and need comfort that others have been through this.

We understand that now more than ever, it is increasingly difficult to find safe and legal Termination for Medical Reasons care. If you are looking for a provider, clinic, or financial assistance, please visit our Abortion Resources page.

What will happen?

To help answer some of your most pressing questions, we wrote a booklet about the emotional and physical experiences that can accompany a TFMR. This booklet is informed and written by our Empty Arms community of parents who have experienced a TFMR— people who have faced a morass of heart-wrenching decisions, and hope that by sharing their experiences you will feel a little less alone.

Click the left and right arrows to read the booklet:

You can call your provider

People sometimes wonder, “Is my question important enough to warrant an after-hours phone call?” The answer to this question is YES. Across the board, YES. You can call your provider and ask whatever questions you have, and you should not hesitate to do this. If you have a question that needs answering, your provider may very well have the information you need, and they may be able to spare you the worry and anxiety that will come from wondering on your own. Remember, they are on call for a reason.

You can join our support group

A sense of community can be an incredibly helpful resource to understand a termination and the accompanying thoughts and feelings. Empty Arms offers a monthly support group that allows parents who have experienced a termination for medical reasons to come together and discuss thoughts, worries, and ways to recover from the loss. The support group allows parents to share their experiences free of judgment. Read more about our Termination for Medical Reasons Support Group.

You can count on Empty Arms

Many people have reported feeling confused and alone after leaving the hospital or office and wished they had someone they could talk to for emotional support and just to say, “What was your TFMR like for you?”

We have a system set up to help you get this help easily. You can choose from among these three options:

  • Text 413-570-0811 and send the message “Support for TFMR”. When we receive this message, we will have one of our TFMR support leaders give you a call back as soon as possible.
  • Call us directly: 413-570-0811. If we don’t answer, leave us a message and we’ll call you back. We are available to help to talk you through your options, your anxieties, and your feelings on a peer level.
  • Send us a message explaining your situation and what you’d like help with.

Beyond telephone support, a companion may be able to come to see you for an in-person visit if this would be helpful. We encourage you to reach out if you’re feeling isolated and would like support. 

You can read other people’s personal accounts

We’ve just selected a few personal accounts of TFMR, though of course everyone’s experience is unique. We can’t guarantee that you’ll relate to any of these, but it can be a start. Here are some stories to read that may align to you…

Postpartum Support International, similar to Empty Arms, offers a wide range of free support groups. Their support groups represent a wide variety of populations and circumstances, including a support group for Termination for Medical Reasons.

Ending a Wanted Pregnancy supports TFMR families with a private online support group, an online collection of Parents’ Stories, a memorial Butterfly Garden, religious resources, practical information, and so much more.

TFMR MAMAS offers monthly online support groups for TFMR Mamas to come together and feel supported. They also have private Facebook groups for TFMR Mammas and LGBTQ+ & TFMR parents.

Tommy’s has an extensive informational page on TFMR, what to expect, and the choices involved. Their team of midwives also answers TFMR questions via email pro-bono.

Empty Cradle is a Southern California non-profit serving San Diego County and Riverside County area parents who have lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, TFMR or SIDS.

The Tears Foundation offers a wide variety of Support Groups in many states across the U.S. Some of the states they offer support groups for includes specific support for TFMR.

Bereaved Parents of the USA has a chapter in many states with local support for bereaved parents.

A Heartbreaking Choice is an online resource for TFMR parents that includes articles, parent stories, support groups, spirituality resources, a collection of poems, and more.

Pregnancy After Loss Support has a myriad of loss resources, including an app for parents who are pregnant after a loss, a Pregnancy after TFMR Online Support Group, and a Pregnancy After TFMR Online Magazine.

Terminations Remembered is “A safe space to find support and honor our angels after the hardest choice – termination of a desired pregnancy for medical reasons”. Their website includes resources, parent stories, recommended hospitals, and a private TFMR Facebook Group.

The TFMR Doula has created a safe space via Facebook to ‘feel supported and connected to other bereaved TFMR parents who have gone through it too.’

BabyCenter has an online TFMR community forum where you can read TFMR parent stories and share your own.

TFMR Library

Below is a list of books recommended by TFMR parents. If you’d like to add to our library, please send us an email. We would love to hear from you!

Our Heartbreaking Choices by Christie Brooks

A Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby’s Life is Expected to be Brief by Amy Kuebelbeck and Deborah Davis

Rebirth: The Journey of Pregnancy After a Loss by Joey Miller, MSW, LCSW

An Abortion for Love, Notes From a Friend: A Journal After a Genetic Termination by Dr. Susan Hodge

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby by Deborah L. Davis