The Glimmer Podcast

Interviews with the experts on how to manage grief after pregnancy loss, stillbirth or neonatal loss.

The Glimmer Podcast explores the ramifications and reverberations of stillbirth/newborn loss. It is presented in a compassionate and informative format. Through interviewing a diverse range of experts and specialists in the fields commonly accessed by grieving mothers, you and I are going to uncover insights and knowledge that will help navigate the long journey ahead.

Reminder: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the individual and do not represent their employer or medical advice. Always consult your doctor. 


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Episode 2 snippet of The Glimmer Podcast

Episode 2 snippet

Episode 4 snippet

Episode 4 Show notes:

Dr Ashleigh Smith interviews Annabel Bower – author of the heartfelt book ‘Miles Apart’ which aims to support mothers navigating grief after the loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy or infancy and gives practical and emotional advice on coping with the many challenges life after loss brings. Annabel has also launched a not-for-profit foundation to distribute donated copies of Miles Apart to hospitals around Australia and hopes the foundation will help raise awareness of the emotional impact of baby loss whilst also supporting those who endure it.

They discuss miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and the process of grieving. They also discuss the ‘out of body experience’ in the hospital,’ ‘the evaporation of excitement and hope for the future of a shared life together with your baby.’ Such sentiments, Ashleigh acknowledges, are only understood by women who have lived and endured the agony of pregnancy/baby loss. 

Annabel explains ‘grief gas lighting’ – how you can do it to yourself or by another person. She opens up about how she felt when Miles’ due date approached and how people flock to pregnant women but avoid women after they have had a loss. 

She talks about the expectations and exhaustion of grief and that initially she couldn’t open up and talk about what had happened to Miles. Annabel discusses the responses she has been receiving to her book and the loneliness of loss and why we can feel just so isolated after the loss of a baby. She talks about adjusting to the new normal and coping with the ins and outs of your life when you're grieving the loss of your baby. 

Annabel writes about gritting her teeth when listening to other people trying to console her with platitudes or ‘at least’s’ – such as ‘at least you have other children’ and ‘at least you know you can get pregnant.’ Dr Ashleigh Smith explains how beneficial meditation has been for her grief and how it can help calm the mind and find peace amongst the ravages of grief. 

Finally, Annabel explains how someone can donate a ‘Miles Apart’ book to hospitals Australia wide. 




Episode 3 Show notes:

This episode discusses grief after pregnancy loss, holding space, post-traumatic growth, liminal space and recommendations for further reading. Dr Ashleigh Smith interviews Heather plett - an expert on grief. Heather lost her mother in recent times and her son Matthew many years ago through stillbirth (she unfortunately had an incompetent cervix with subsequent cervical cerclage, ruptured membranes and intrauterine infection).

These events shaped her life and took her from a managerial job in Canada, to being an international speaker, coach, facilitator and author – she is currently launching a book called ‘Holding space’ – which was based on her wildly successful and viral blog post from 2015. 

Heather radiates a sense of peaceful wisdom and mutual understanding of grief and loss. 

She speaks about how losing Matthew informed and changed the trajectory of her life and that in time, she felt she became ‘seasoned’ in her grief – but it took 10 years. Heather sometimes calls her grief her ‘best friend’ – saying it has made her life full of richness. She is able to sit with other people through their grief and offers non-judgment and compassion. 

Heather defines holding space as being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.  She says, when we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgment and control.

Heather explains how her grief has changed over time and that after losing Matthew, she found a new sense of spirituality. She initially felt angry for errors in her medical care and suffered great restlessness, before eventually finding acceptance. Finally, Heather advises how the listener can move through their grief and hold space for themselves. 

Reminder: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the individual and do not represent their employer or medical advice. Always consult your doctor. 



Episode 2:

The Glimmer Podcast is hosted by Dr Ashleigh Smith and interviews experts on managing pregnancy and newborn loss related grief. This week’s guest is Alana Sheeren. She is a multi-passionate creative who shows up in all her work with the aim of making the world a kinder, more compassionate place. Whether speaking about grief from the TEDx stage, or in her healing work with clients, she combines her training as a therapist and her intuitive abilities with a deep understanding of the human condition to help people create profound and lasting change in their lives. 

The interview opens talking about the famous TedX talk that Alana did about grief and the stillbirth of her son, Ben (which was almost 10 years ago). She talks about how grief has shaped her life. That grief can manifest by ‘coming out sideways’ and how she carried a ‘cave bag’ of journals, art supplies, candles and medicine cards. She advises the need to connect to your own body and notice the grief surfacing in different ways. She warns against getting trapped in a ‘story of shame or guilt or victimhood’ in relation to grief from pregnancy loss.

She talks about how life can be full of beauty and joy even amidst grief and loss and references her friend on the ‘an’ space. She encourages the listener to hold all of these emotions and give yourself permission to also see beauty. To not be trapped into the mindset of not allowing yourself to laugh or experience joy.

Alana talks about shame and guilt. Shame, she defines, is identifying ‘I am’ something shameful. Guilt, she defines, is identifying ‘I have done’ something to feel guilty about. She references other people and their opinions of what you ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be doing with your grief after pregnancy or newborn loss. Their judgments can be so hurtful.

Alana mentions a specific event where a circle leader told her about how she ‘should’ talk about Ben. She mentions the pain of secondary loss in addition to the primary loss of the child – that of friendships or marriage that doesn’t survive the death. 

Dr Ashleigh Smith and Alana talk about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and how ‘meaning making’ was recently suggested as one of the grief stages.

Alana talks about Reiki and healing energy work and how she leaned and used it in her own, and others whole-self healing. She talks about a snow/sand analogy and how the energy in your body can hold onto trauma. 

Finally, Alana advises the listener to ask for help when you want it, but don’t feel like you have to ask for help if you don’t want it.

This is a magical interview full of heart-warming insights and wisdom from a fellow warrior mum, psychologist and healer.  


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Book mention: Men don’t cry, women do – transcending gender stereotypes in grief by Terry Martin and Kenneth Doka

Alana’s ted talk:



Episode 1:
Interview with Julee Pinel – Psychologist and Mental Health Nurse with over 25 years experience. Julee’s son Andrew passed away when he was born at 22weeks and I thank Julee for devoting her career to helping people psychologically recover from similar tragedies, hardships and mental illness. She is a warrior mum like all of us listening to this podcast. On the show today, we discuss how Julee managed her grief after losing Andrew 27 years ago due to preterm labour and extreme prematurity.