People Impacted by Reproductive Loss Often Experience “Wreath Grief.” You Can Help.

SAN DIEGO (December 11, 2023) – The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care, the global leader in reproductive grief care research and education, today announced tools and tips to help those who may struggle with their reproductive loss during the holiday season.

“The holidays can be a very difficult time of year for those impacted by miscarriage, infertility, stillbirth and other reproductive losses – even decades after the loss,” said Michaelene Fredenburg, President and CEO of the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care. “We call these feelings ‘Wreath Grief.’”


“Wreath Grief” is when thoughts of the holidays – the fun of decorating, cooking and opening gifts – is marred by the pain of reproductive loss, infertility, or the loss of a baby who did not live long. For people impacted by reproductive loss, the holidays can make a difficult loss even tougher every year. And this pain can be felt by their friends and loved ones as well.

Typical “wreath grief” can be thoughts like these:

“She would have been 5 years old this Christmas.”

“He would have just been old enough to open his own gifts.”

“Everyone knows someone who is experiencing ‘Wreath Grief,” added Fredenburg. “However, most people don’t realize that family members or friends may still be silently grieving this loss every holiday, even years or decades after the loss.”

When “Wreath Grief,” is ignored, downplayed or marginalized, the result can be a more profound grief that is endured in isolation, where sufferers feel invisible and alone during a season that they feel should be filled with happiness and celebration. 


Have you personally experienced reproductive loss? Do you know someone who has?  The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care offers help to process your loss, or help a loved one who may be struggling during the holiday season, or any time of year.

The simplest way to help is by sharing our #WreathGrief logo and hashtag on social media. This opens the door to conversations about your feelings, or invites others to share their feelings with you.


We’ve also created free, online “Helpful Toolkits” for those directly touched by reproductive loss, as well as their loved ones who would like to help them. They include:

Specialized toolkits

  • Just for You: A special toolkit just for women who have experienced miscarriage. This includes:
    • “3 Things to Remember”
    • “5 Steps for You”
  • Friends & Family: When someone you love has had a miscarriage, what do you do? This toolkit provides tips and resources to help them process their reproductive loss.
  • Healthcare Professionals: Your words and actions after reproductive loss – especially during the moment of bad news delivery – are remembered forever. This toolkit guides you on what to say to help your patients, along with self-care tips for you.
  • Men: After reproductive loss, men often feel invisible and their grief unimportant. This toolkit provides tips and resources especially designed for men facing miscarriage and other reproductive losses.

And other resources including:

  • You are not alone: See our short video on this page to get started helping yourself – or others – through miscarriage.
  • #ForgetMeNot: When you’re ready, share your reproductive loss story on social media.
  • is a healing website that offers guidance and a safe space for anyone impacted by early pregnancy loss. It includes a place to tell your story anonymously, as well as structure for finding the support you need from others. (Note: Some of these stories are raw and painful and may be difficult to read.).
  • Books and booklets to help those impacted by reproductive loss. These books are for sale on Amazon. Many are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
  • The Shop on our site also features memorial items and sympathy cards from the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care’s “Forget Me Not Flower” Signature Collection. This Collection honors those impacted by reproductive loss with the “Forget Me Not Flower.” The “Forget Me Not” flower assures those impacted that we are remembering them, and remembering their children with them. This includes sympathy cards, memorial jewelry and comfort gift boxes. As the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is a nonprofit, all proceeds help those impacted.

“A reproductive loss can be decades old, but still be very painful every year during the holidays,” added Fredenburg. “It’s important to be open and available to listen and comfort those who are impacted and need our help.”


We bring to light the widespread need for help that is faced by the millions impacted by miscarriage and other reproductive losses. We change the way that people think and talk about reproductive loss, and creates traditions that focus on healing, remembrance and hope. We offer a safe place, for those impacted, to receive the support that they need in kindness and without judgement.


The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is the global authority on reproductive grief care. It offers education, research, expertise and support after reproductive loss without religious or political affiliation. Its goal is to accelerate the widespread adoption of a reproductive grief standard of care, bringing comfort and hope to millions who often grieve alone and in silence for years or decades.

The Institute’s online courses are accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #17434. It is also approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. We maintain responsibility for our program and its content. The Institute also certifies healthcare professionals and others in reproductive grief care.

The Institute offers booksmemorial items, and other healing resources directly to those affected, including the “Forget Me Not Signature Collection” of sympathy cards, jewelry and comfort boxes. The national campaign, promoting the “Forget Me Not” flower as a symbol of reproductive loss remembrance, won the grand prize of “Nonprofit Communications Campaign of the Year” by Public Relations Daily in 2022. All Institute proceeds from sales of “Forget Me Not” items go directly to helping those impacted. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information, see the Institute’s introductory video and visit

Located in San Diego, the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is also an active campus where organizations and individuals come together for education, research, and healing of grief after reproductive loss. Our new facility features a counseling center, research library, teaching rooms, recording studio, a 400-seat auditorium with remote capabilities and office space for visiting scholars and the team of this growing organization. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information visit