carmen mezzadri 

Holistic Baby Loss Support

Occupational Therapy with Integrative Health for Women’s & Family Mental Health, Well-being and Prevention; 
with a special interest in perinatal loss
and its impact on everyday life,
future pregnancies and motherhood.

'I help women and families feel safe at home within themselves after losing their babies'.

Allow me to hold your heart

after the loss of your baby

Miscarriage/early-term pregnancy loss, termination for medical reasons, twin or multiple loss, late-term pregnancy loss/stillbirth and newborn death support:

  • Preparation for birth: stillbirth (where possible), D&C, TFMR, and/or other medical intervention/birth

  • Postpartum without a baby

  • Grief, trauma and engagement in everyday life

  • Depression, anxiety and PTSD 

  • Pre-conception journey (natural or assisted)

  • Rainbow pregnancy (pregnancy after loss)  

  • Motherhood/parenting 

  • Back-to-work 

  • Relationships and Intimacy 

  • Family 

 

What to expect

panadero.jpg

“To begin with, I will not see you as broken (although I know first-hand that you likely feel that way), and therefore, I will not be there trying to fix you. By using therapeutic presence and listening carefully to your story, I will meet you right where you are with no judgments and nothing but love, respect and compassion. I will hold a safe and nurturing space where we will go gently, yet deep. We will move at your own pace, as I guide you with great empathy in finding your own way to wellness. You will feel heard, seen and supported. Healing will take place in the context of our safe relationship, based on presence, connection and trust. 

Baby loss is not a solitary moment of loss, it can be a traumatic experience and its impact can actually extend across a lifetime. Grief and/or trauma can show up in your engagement in everyday activities and/or your relationships. Occupational Therapy can enable you to participate in activities you find meaningful, and therefore, help you integrate the pain of missing your baby and feeling supported while you navigate the hard journey of learning to experience love and loss together in your life. I will integrate Occupational Therapy principles; best practice gathered through my work experience; personal knowledge collected through my journey as a woman and a mother (who holds love and loss in her heart); and combine these with different complementary healing modalities. According to your personal needs and interests, we could incorporate guided imagery, mindfulness and grounding techniques, affirmations, energy healing, and/or womb therapy and massage, always promoting a mind-body-spirit connection.

 

As there is no right or wrong way to cope with grief and loss, rest assured that this is a person-centred approach. Among other things, you might need help with marking your baby’s loss or with finding ongoing ways to bond with your baby and find meaning in your changing maternal identity. You might feel the need to be heard and validate your pain and grief, and in doing so, find your own voice to tell your story, opening your heart, reconnecting to your body and its capacity, all while building your self-worth. Also, we may have to focus on becoming aware of possible issues that might be holding you back from participating as you would like in your everyday activities and roles. You might be interested in finding your own ways to use time and/or organise your environment to assist with your emotional state, and/or you might also benefit from some strategies to deal with possible triggers and/or difficult emotions and negative thoughts. If you are not there yet, do not worry—I will hold hope and love for you until you are able to do it by yourself. 

You will leave supported, validated in your personal ever-evolving grieving journey, and believing more in yourself. You will have a greater sense of purpose, feel more connected and trust in your own body and your creative capacity as a woman, with a stronger desire to express your gifts; and most importantly, grounded and empowered by the peace of feeling safe at home within yourself

after the loss of your baby.

 

I believe that healing is an ongoing and non-linear process, however, I am not a fan of long treatments that could generate dependencies, and therefore, not inspire autonomy. Consequently, I am introducing a flexible session modality that will adapt to your needs. You might need ongoing sessions for a period of time or just benefit from one session every now and then. You can always come back for more sessions.

 

You are not alone. I am here for you".

Sessions

  • Distance online sessions via Skype/Zoom available 

  • Walking/outing sessions anywhere in the Banyule, Darebin, Yarra and Boroondara City Council area available

  • Sessions in Ivanhoe, VIC (Australia) - Coming soon 

  • Home visits in the Banyule, Darebin, Yarra and Boroondara City Council area - Coming soon 

  • Other languages: Spanish / Sesiones también disponibles en español 

My Story

95811639_115076493521914_541140402838490

‘She was beautiful. She would have had my hands, I can assure you that, however, I will never know what colour her eyes would have been or how high or low the tone of her voice would have sounded. She was stillborn—a word that I have learned to embrace. 

As I held my precious silent second daughter in my arms, a terribly sad yet peaceful feeling surrounded my husband and I in that hospital room. There was singing and praying involved and we told her that we would love her forever. Nothing was easy, letting go is hard. I remember how my husband and I were bombarded with medical information about autopsies, funeral arrangements and other documents, yet there was so little emotional support and guidance available during those big decisions, as well as once we were back home. I felt broken. Hollow. I was in intense emotional pain. My chest felt heavy. Even sleeping was difficult, some nights I was invaded by recurring nightmares and other times I would wake up in the middle of the night with a racing mind going through each painful event over and over again.
I wondered if I could have done something differently or if there was something wrong with me that the doctors might not have detected. I also wondered if I would ever be able to carry to term another baby or if I would actually feel ready to conceive again and take the risk of experiencing yet another loss. I would go from angry, to feeling ashamed and then devastated. I was missing my dear baby deeply. What was I supposed to do with the space I had fostered in my heart for loving my darling Olive for the rest of my life?  

There did not seem to be a specific health service for this type of loss, the few support organisations available felt impersonal or based mostly on talking, which I was not ready for. Also, there was no scope in society for this type of grief either, or at least it felt that way. Especially early in my pain, I remember how grief could catch me when least expected and triggers were almost everywhere, impacting my socialisation and making me feel lonely. I felt the need to retreat from some of my well-meaning family and friends, especially those who were expecting or had had babies recently. Grief can have the ability to leave you speechless and I needed space and time to find my new voice. Once I was ready to share my story, most people did not feel comfortable talking about my baby’s death and were under the impression that I should get over it easily (or faster) and just try again for another baby soon. Probably with good intentions, people (more often than not) would end up minimising my grief by comparing it to other stories of loss they knew, ignoring my pain and/or invalidating my emotions by trying to fix them or provide a silver lining, making me feel even more isolated. Little did they know that naming and talking about Olive was one of the only ways I had to acknowledge and honour her short yet precious life. As I started finding the right language for me to talk about my baby, words would help me shape my story the way I felt it and support me in accepting my loss and finding peace. 

My belly area became a strong trigger of negative thoughts and strong emotions. I recall trying not to look at it for months, yet going to bed praying with my hands on my lower belly every night in a desperate attempt to feel whole again and somehow connect with my baby who had gone. My womb had carried death and I had lost faith in my body and its capacity to create a healthy baby. I needed to rewire my heart-womb connection but did not know where to start. And that is how my holistic and gentle journey towards wellness began. It was not an easy road—one full of tears, raw emotions, doubts and lots of fears and hopelessness towards the future. When your baby dies, it can feel like there is a part of you that dies with your baby, but I wondered what exactly needed to die? 

I was lucky enough to be able to take the time I needed to go back to work, but grieving at home, with my Mum (who is my major support) living overseas, was not easy. I remember trying to find a delicate balance between being able to maintain an ongoing connection with my baby Olive (yet letting her go in peace), while being a present and caring mother to my eldest daughter, Clementine; as well as not disregarding the relationship with my husband, who was also grieving in his own way and time. My perspective on motherhood and family had changed, and my own maternal identity needed some rebuilding. It was an extremely hard job to master while grieving, let me tell you. Something I already knew as an Occupational Therapist, but that I have confirmed throughout my journey as a mother, is that healing involves patience, trust and self-love in monumental quantities, and that each personal experience is different. We are all healing in our right time. However, it is crucial to reach out for support when things become hard for us to handle. By combining Occupational Therapy practices and complementary modalities aligned to my personal values and interests, I rediscovered a path of self-worth, which empowered me deeply as I slowly moved towards wellness.

I wish I could tell you that all my worries went away after having my third daughter Marigold in my arms (as so many people seemed to expect), but it did not happen quite that easily. First of all, a rainbow pregnancy can be the hardest 9 months—full of mixed emotions. Fear and uncertainty were holding hands with hope and joy. At times it felt like life and death were playing a game of cards in my mind. If anxiety is often raised during any pregnancy, then after a pregnancy loss it is most likely heightened big time even without the presence of an actual medical complication. Grief would creep back up every now and then, but this time around it was escorted by its mate guilt, because I should stay calm for my baby and I guess I should just have been happy to be pregnant again, right? I am not sure how many times I wondered “is she moving enough, should I call the doctor?”. I was blessed to meet the kindest and most generous obstetrician who offered me his knowledge and time, giving me great reassurance every single time I needed it. I was advised to inject Low-molecular-weight Heparin every day, so my belly and I had to become good friends again, and not under the best circumstances, but my womb was carrying life again and I was stronger and hopeful. 

Incorporating complementary healing practices was essential for finding peace during those stormy times, especially in between medical appointments, while at work, and as I was approaching my third daughter’s birth. Making the time to connect daily with my womb, my heart and my baby using Reiki, womb wisdom, visualisations, affirmations, singing, crystals and practicing gratitude (among other things); all helped me restore my trust in the process and in my own capacity as a woman and even renew my faith in God, while keeping me grounded. Occupational therapy, which is by now part of my essence, helped me find the ritual in the routine. By finding personal meaning in my daily doing and adapting my activities and/or environment to enhance participation in my most significant roles as a mother, wife and therapist, I felt empowered.  

However, Marigold was born with fluid in her lungs, so I was not able to have her with me and hold her as much as I would have loved to immediately after she was born and not even for the following few days after that. I remember reliving somehow the emptiness of the postpartum without a baby, and grief resurfaced once again. I was so happy to finally have Marigold with me, but there was a part of me that was not able to relax completely—a state of alarm was lingering. Also, I was still missing Olive and I was not sure where to fit in these not-so-happy feelings in my newborn-baby bubble and that would make me feel like I was betraying her somehow by making more space for joy. Once again, I had to find meaning and ritual in the everyday routine and be able to trust in the process to allow things to shift. My identity as a mother and my bond with my now three daughters was going to need some more reaccommodating.

Both of my daughters, each of whom I hold in my arms today, are what we call ‘rainbow babies’, because they both came after a loss. Sometimes I wonder how different my journey as a mother would have been without experiencing loss. I wonder what would have happened if I had available a specific kind of support after my very first early miscarriage. I also wonder if my style of mothering would have been different. Most likely it would have been, but I will never know for certain because this is my story—the one that proudly makes me the mother and woman I am today. The only things I know for sure is how deeply appreciative and grateful I am of my daughter’s lives (and of life in general), how I love being Olive's mum as much as I love being Clementine and Marigold's mum, and how my heart has the capacity to heal and embrace joy and pain in a transformative way, which I never would have thought possible.  

Throughout my journey of loss, I would love to have been able to count on a specific, personalised and integrative support service provided by someone who could empathise with my story and help me feel safe even about feeling unsafe. Therefore, I would love to share my passion for women’s mental health and well-being and be able to help and guide other women and families who have experienced baby loss, are pregnant with a rainbow baby and are in need of support, or are struggling in their motherhood journey. I can empathise, bring light into the darkness of heartache, trauma and grief, and/or hold a nurturing and hopeful space for them until they can do it for themselves’.

 

About Carmen

Carmen has more than 10 years of experience as a committed and reflective Occupational Therapist in Australia and Argentina, her country of birth. She has worked in different Occupational Therapy (OT) areas (mainly in mental health and education), and with diverse groups of people, while always showing great capacity to adapt and provide high quality and loving care. Carmen has a passion for women’s and family mental health and well-being; particularly regarding the impact that pregnancy and perinatal loss can have on everyday life, future pregnancies and motherhood. 

OT is a holistic, person-centred and evidence-based practice, which has a practical approach to mental health, always promoting participation in life by enabling capacity. Carmen has an integrative approach to mental health, combining all of the best of OT practices with complementary modalities, according to the need of each individual. Promoting the mind-body-spirit connection to provide health, wellness and disease-prevention services. 

Carmen has a warm, positive and down-to-earth approach, which makes her clients feel comfortable and capable from the very beginning. She not only implements her clinical reasoning, intuition and great empathic qualities; but also has a genuine interest in helping others. This is what makes Carmen particularly good in guiding others in finding worth and love in themselves. 

Carmen has always been interested in holistic therapies and in nurturing her spirituality. She decided to follow the complementary integrative health path professionally, after losing her second daughter Olive, at 30 weeks of pregnancy, in 2016. It was a very difficult time for her, and she believes that integrating Occupational Therapy practices with complementary modalities, like Reiki (energy healing), positive affirmations, visualisations, womb wisdom and other practices; was all crucial for embracing her grief whole-heartedly and coming out stronger. Furthermore, Carmen has also experienced three miscarriages at different times in her journey as a mother, and she knows about the importance of honouring your baby’s life in your womb (no matter how brief) and the postpartum after any type of baby loss.

She knows about the possible need of finding ongoing ways to bond with your baby (who died) and in doing so, finding meaning and rebuilding your maternal identity. She also understands about the struggles, the shock after hearing the excruciatingly painful words “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat”, the roller coaster of emotions that usually follows the loss of a baby (recurring losses in some cases), and the significance of validating all of these emotions. 

Carmen recognises that pregnancy/perinatal loss is not a solitary moment of loss and how its impact can actually extend across a lifetime. She knows first-hand how grief and trauma can not only impact your emotional well-being and mental health, but also your physical health (which could possibly have been affected already by required medical procedures and/or previous illness), everyday life, your spirituality, future pregnancies and motherhood; affecting relationships and participation in society in particular and making it more difficult to reach out for support. Furthermore, Carmen knows about the self-love and patience required in the healing process after baby loss, during a rainbow pregnancy and/or even during the pre-conception journey. She understands the need for having faith, while surrendering to the uncertainty by being present and grateful in the journey to becoming. Carmen believes that baby loss can be a transformative journey and one that will most likely open your heart. 

Registered Occupational Therapist

Master of Occupational Therapy, OTA member

Mum holding love and loss in her heart

Grief and trauma informed

Energy Healing – Reiki Level 2

Womb Wisdom and Therapy – In the process of being certified as a Womb Massage Therapist

Evolutionary Astrologer in the making

Highly intuitive & empathic

Singing enthusiast

Lover of colour and all things beautiful

Occasional maker

In the (sometimes) hard yet always rewarding journey of living with an open heart

I empower myself when I empower others

 
 

Get In Touch

Thanks for submitting!