Coping at Christmas after an ectopic pregnancy

30 Nov 2022 | By The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Coping at Christmas after an ectopic pregnancy

Christmas and New Year activities often centre around coming together with family and friends and this may involve a particular focus on young children. Social media may become flooded with photos of Father Christmas visits, party gatherings, and decorating Christmas trees, which can act as a heartbreaking reminder of what could have been. It may bring a further sense of loss and isolation. However you may be feeling, we remind that you are not alone and we have a space for you among our understanding community. 

Be kind to yourself

Your feelings may change throughout the festive period and it is important to remember that this is perfectly normal. There is no rulebook to navigating Christmas and emotions can change from one moment to the next.

Grief and processing the impacts of ectopic pregnancy doesn’t look the same for everyone; what may work for one person may not for the next. Being kind to yourself, practicing self-care and communicating with those who love and support you can help alleviate those feelings. This may mean reducing the demands on your time, stepping away from social media for a while, or creating new traditions over the holiday period.


Whether you choose to create new traditions or bypass Christmas festivities altogether, we have some thoughts about how you can commemorate your pregnancy on our website. In addition to this, some of The EPT team and our supporters have shared what has helped them cope over Christmas in previous years: 

The anniversary of our ectopic is also around Christmas. Dedicating an EPT Treasured Tulip and seeing our little one’s date written was a source of comfort. Just remember there is no right or wrong way to get through it. -Kerri

Having a balance of time alone but also time with family. Don’t completely shut yourself off. – Anon

My first Christmas was the hardest. It was only two months after my ectopic pregnancy so emotions were still raw. Allowing myself to feel sad without guilt was important for me. You don’t have to bury your emotions just because it’s Christmas. – Lois

Your baubles gave me so much comfort and reflection. – Judy

Christmas has always been my favourite time of year and it still is. However my first pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy had the planned birth in December. After that, the beginning of December has been harder so I try to do things that make me happy: Decorating for Christmas; baking Christmas candy; a Christmas party with friends. I surround myself with happy things, friends and family, things that make me happy! And a call to my counsellor always helps. -Gita
Understanding that it’s okay to feel sad, don’t try to cover your emotions, people will understand. – Anon
Christmas can be hard as can be a time of reflection wondering what celebration times would have been like with lost loved ones. I take a little time to think of my lost ones and try and picture them and include them in my head during my preparations to make them feel they are there. I think it is important to remember and maybe mark. The first year we let off balloons on Christmas morning and I also try to take joy and enjoy loved ones around me. – Jill
Reading about other ectopic experiences – makes you feel less alone. – Louisa  (Our personal stories section has a diverse range of experiences that you can read.)
My ectopic was dated to be due on Christmas Eve. I find Christmas time so hard. Every year since, I take a moment to myself just to process things and to have a cry. No one seems to acknowledge that that date triggers things so having a moment to myself allows me to remember what could have been and how grateful I am for the family I have now. – Anon
Having lots of activities planned. – Anon
I love Christmas, it’s such a magical time of year. I love the lights, the excitement, and have always loved decorating the tree – it was my thing when I was younger (nobody else wanted to do it!). My second ectopic pregnancy was a few days before we decorate the tree (normally first weekend in December) and I couldn’t physically do it that year. We didn’t let it stop us though and we just delayed it a little bit. My husband pulled a chair over so I could pass him the decorations and I could tell him where to put them. We still had mulled wine, we had Christmas music on and we remembered just how lucky we were to be able to be in this position. All I would say is, remember the things that make you smile and lean into them. You never forget, you just remember when you need to, and always be kind to yourself. – Helen
Reading Zoe Clarke Coates book – The Baby Loss Guide – Janine
I often reflect at Christmas time on not only that loss but all the losses we have experienced, including our ectopic pregnancy. I love Christmas and everything about it so throw myself into all that I enjoy but ensure I have space to remember and reflect. I often mark it in some way, lighting a candle and putting special decorations on the tree or around the house. I focus on how lucky I am to be able to enjoy everything and surround myself with friends and family. I also allow myself to feel sad and to accept that this is ok even at such a happy time of year. Most of all I tell myself that it is possible to feel sad and remember but it’s ok to smile and be happy for what I have as well. – Joanne
Taking breaks and time to myself, and walks with my partner. – Anon
Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. The end of November is the time that is most poignant for me. It is when our first pregnancy that was ectopic would have been due – so around these past few days. I am fortunate to have had children since and hold them tightly. When we put our EPT angel decorations up, we always talk about our ectopic pregnancy loss and miscarriage. It is important for them to know about our family including the little ones who didn’t make it. – Munira
Saying no to events we were dreading and putting ourselves first instead! – Charlotte 
The support of my fiancé and cooking believe it or not! I love cooking and it really helped. – Anon
My ectopic pregnancy was 6 days before Christmas so I was pretty miserable that first year. I was meant to host and last minute I went to my in-laws instead and let them do all the work! My sister in law was there with her 5 month old daughter which was hard at times so I ensured I could take some time and space when I needed it. I didn’t force myself to be happy or get on with things and I made no commitments to be anywhere. I just tried to be as kind to myself as possible and not feel guilty for being happy, having some drinks and laughing at times but also not let myself feel bad for crying, being unsociable and unhappy either. We have a potted plant I bought when we had the ectopic pregnancy and I put little fairy lights on them every year as my token to the baby that would have been. – Sophie
Incorporating our loss, our baby, into Christmas. – Anon
Putting up the decorations early. – Anon
An ectopic pregnancy may affect parts of your life that you didn't expect. Be kind to yourself this festive season.

You are not alone

Having a safe space to turn to when things begin to start feeling overwhelming can be a powerful support. Whether your support group includes a friend, family member, your partner, or The EPT’s community, we encourage you to draw upon what you need when things are challenging.

Below we have detailed information about where you can find support over the festive period.

Our call-back support line and email services are available until Thursday 23 December, 2pm. Between 24 December – 9 January, messages will be answered as soon as possible. The EPT’s normal service will resume from 10 January. If you experience symptoms of ectopic pregnancy or complications following treatment, you must not wait for a reply and seek medical attention from health care professionals as soon as possible.

Support networks and information over the holidays can be found on our Facebook groups and online discussion forums:

Facebook Closed Group: Anyone on Facebook is able to find the group to request access, but only those in the group are able to see who is in it and view posts.

EPT Online Forums: Our Facebook group is not designed to replace our online forums which can provide you with greater privacy and anonymity as well as access to information and support. Our forums put you in direct contact with others who have been affected by ectopic pregnancy.

Mind has information about mental health to help you or someone you love that is struggling with baby loss.

If you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, you should seek help immediately from your doctor/GP, A&E or by calling the Samaritans helpline at any time day or night.

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas, from The EPT Team

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

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