What is a Termination for Medical Reasons or TFMR?
A Termination for Medical Reasons is when a pregnancy is ended due to the health of the unborn baby or that of the mother/birthing person (Termination for Maternal/birthing person's Health) or Termination for Maternal/birthing persons Mental Health reasons.
There are many reasons as to why someone might face this heartbreaking “decision”.
Baby loss through TFMR is complex given the fact the Parent or Parents have to “choose” this; however for most parents this doesn't feel like a 'choice'. They have had to say goodbye early to their very loved, very much wanted Baby.
Because of this, Parents who have lost babies through TFMR often feel that they don't always belong in the wider Baby loss communities. Parents who have had to face a TFMR, have not done so lightly and have made the best possible decision (and sometimes, the only decision) they could. They deserve to be shown compassion and love just like any other Parent who loses a baby.
Parents all over the world have to face this devastating and life changing ‘decision’ every day with Law & Legislation differing from Country to Country and also State to State in some cases. Due to this some parents have to travel out of their Country or States to receive compassionate care.
TFMR sadly is more common than we are aware of as it is not openly spoken about and in turn most people remain unaware of it until they or someone close to them gets a serious diagnosis or has health/mental health complications during a pregnancy. At least 5000 pregnancies a year are ended in the UK due to TFMR (source tommys.org), this is twice the number of babies lost through being stillborn across the country.
On top of the grief & trauma parents have to endure losing their baby, they can often feel they have to cope with their loss in silence due to the shame and guilt that can be associated with a Termination for Medical, Maternal/Birthing persons Health or Mental Health reasons.
TFMR Mamas was created by Emma Belle, podcast host and Mentor, after her baby girl, Willow, sadly die-ing in utero through TFMR due to Edwards Syndrome in October 2020. This loss shattered her heart. After battling with infertility and finally being pregnant after 5 rounds of fertility treatment, this simply wasn't a position she ever dreamed her and her husband would ever be in.
Emma believes that humans are not built to get through their hardest days alone or in isolation and that we heal in community. This is why she created this safe supportive space. TFMR Mamas provides Free monthly support groups and paid weekly support group options for TFMR Mamas & a Private facebook group. There is also a private facebook group for TFMR Papas. The TFMR Mamas Hub membership is launching soon.
The @tfmrmamas instagram page provides emotional educational content that now not only supports parents that have had to lose their baby and go through a Termination for Medical reasons but also provides insight for midwives, therapists and medical professionals to help them better understand how to care for and support those going through this very difficult and multi layered trauma and baby loss.