Non-profit helps mothers grieve after pregnancy or infant loss

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's something one in four women of reproductive age will have suffered, yet no one talks about it.

"It's really personal, it's devastating, it's hurtful," says Project Loreal Founder Lorena Tapia.

It was April of 2014 when Tapia became a part of the dialogue surrounding pregnancy and infant loss.

At 34 weeks pregnant, she lost her daughter, Loreal.

"I had my baby shower one day and the next day, I didn't feel her any longer," she said.

Doctors confirmed she'd be leaving the hospital without her daughter.

"I was emotionless at the time," she said "Everything around me was black."

The mom of two says her family and faith pulled her through the dark time and led her to a community of women going through the same loss.

While grieving, she started the non-profit Project Loreal.

Designed to help women who share her loss, memory boxes include keepsakes, words of encouragement and information on resources available for support.

"Each box I make takes me back to my own loss, but it helps cope with my grief because it's ongoing," Tapia said.

Recently, celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend used their platform to share their devastating loss.

"I applaud her," says Fertility Specialist Carolina Sueldo MD. "I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to share that. The images were very raw, the text that she wrote was so raw and relatable for someone who's gone through that situation."

Dr. Sueldo of women's specialty and fertility center in Clovis says pregnancy and infant loss is more common than people think.

"It's something a lot of women have trouble talking about," she said. "Just like infertility, I think it's something that's so personal and so traumatic."

With October being infant and pregnancy loss awareness month, resolve, the nonprofit she's involved with is hosting a virtual walk of hope that you can still sign up for online.

Registrants can participate at their own pace with the culminating event being a virtual brunch Saturday, October 17.
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