What are the SPALS rules?

Rules? Are there rules about what I can post on SPALS?

SPALS has a Code of Conduct that we expect every subscriber to understand and to uphold. The SPALS Code of Conduct is part of our Charter for SPALS. Our members value the supportive and understanding environment that SPALS provides -- and our Code of Conduct is part of that environment.

Members of SPALS are all hurt and grieving people who are trying to rebuild their lives while coping with the additional stress of a subsequent pregnancy. Some of us have faced difficult choices and some will face difficult choices while on the list. The SPALS Code of Conduct provides guidance for individual members seeking to respond to the posts of other members. Rather than absolute rules, we provide Guidelines to help members understand the Code of Conduct and to clarify how the list administrators interpret that code.

Understanding the SPALS Code of Conduct and being familiar with its Guidelines are essential for every SPALS member.

See also: SPALS Charter; SPALS Code of Conduct; SPALS Guidelines

Can I depend on SPALS for pregnancy loss support?

SPALS is a discussion group for support of subsequent pregnancy after a loss. Many subscribers come to SPALS immediately after experiencing a loss. Sadly, some subscribers have even encountered a subsequent loss while subscribed to SPALS. We hope that all subscribers who have a need to discuss circumstances of their loss will find SPALS a friendly, understanding and compassionate place.

However, our focus is on subsequent pregnancy -- becoming pregnant and managing pregnancy following the experience of a loss. Other mailing lists provide general loss support, including support for loss in pregnancy.

We believe that SPALS provides valuable support to the self-help process. But, those seeking support should be wary of relying solely on SPALS for their emotional support. For professional advice or counselling, we urge you to see your physician, professional counsellor, or another health care provider, as appropriate.

See also: SPALS Cautions

Can I discuss SPALS posts with other people?

You should consider posts received from other SPALS subscribers to be private and confidential. Many posts contain intimate personal details that would not likely be shared in a public forum.

Yet, you may meet a person outside of SPALS who might benefit from hearing about a story or experience you have heard on SPALS. This poses an interesting problem: how to share this story or experience while maintain the privacy of the original poster. There are few absolutes, but several rules of thumb:

  • Never forward an entire message outside of SPALS.
  • Share a post verbally with your spouse or significant other.
  • Avoid quoting directly from a post to SPALS.
  • Omit the poster's personal details, especially those that are not relevant to the point of the story.
  • Paraphrase the story or experience and relate it as you would a personal story from a friend or acquaintance.
  • Feel free to talk about SPALS in the context of your own experiences.

The guidelines apply to providing information to one individual based on one poster's story or experience. Recognize that SPALS is a private discussion group and not a public forum. Compiling stories or experiences from SPALS without express advance permission of the list administrators is not acceptable.

When in doubt, consult with one of our list administrators for advice.

How can I post a survey to SPALS?

Our Charter specifies "we will actively discourage ... posting a formal survey of any nature, to be published in any manner, without prior approval from the list administrators."

SPALS is a place for self-help. To maintain a confidential and private atmosphere within SPALS, we like to avoid surveys and solicitations. "How did you handle ... " questions for your own personal information are appropriate. Surveys or solicitations for *any* other purpose are not -- unless you have obtained prior approval from the list administrators. If the list administrators approve a survey, they may also provide you with advice regarding how to position the contents and when would be appropriate to post.

Be considerate to other SPALS members -- be sure to consult with our list administrators if you are considering posting any form of survey (whether your own or anothers') to SPALS.

Do I have to add "SPALS" to the subject of every message?

The simple answer is "no". Our Majordomo listserver takes care of this for us, adding "SPALS" to each message sent from the list, and SPALS* and volume and issue informaiton to each message sent from the Digest.

While it is not essential to have SPALS in the subject of every message, it is essential to make sure you provide an informative and relevant subject.

Do I have to leave SPALS after I have my baby?

You are welcome to stay with SPALS following a successful subsequent pregnancy. Those who have completed their journey to subsequent pregnancy can be an inspiration to those beginning the journey or despairing while en route.

A group of SPALS and former SPALS parents with children from a subsequent pregnancy have created a list called PAL (Parenting After Loss). Contact Pam Cawley <pcawley@langara.bc.ca> for more information on PAL.