Thoughts From Parents
Below you will find thoughts from parents who have experienced the death of a child through pregnancy or infant loss. We hope these tips can help healthcare providers and others better understand how to provide support to families experiencing pregnancy or infant loss.
Offer to have us hold our baby. Keep offering, even if we initially say no. We may be scared and your encouragement may help us to find the strength to accept your offer.
Treat us and our baby with compassion and respect. Let us know that the life of our baby was meaningful, no matter how brief. We carry this experience with us our whole lives.
Help Us Find Answers
Talk to us about our options to figure out how or why our baby died. Although having answers will not bring our baby back, it may help provide closure.
We really appreciated the sympathy card that our nurses sent to us. It was so meaningful because it let us know that they cared about us and our baby.
Take many pictures and encourage us to take our own. This is our only time to create memories of our baby. Let us know what will happen if we choose not to take our photos with us.
Involve the Partners
Remember that the partner is grieving too. Please involve us in the decisions and provide us with information on coping and grieving. Let us know how to help our partner.
Please be honest with us. Explain our baby's condition or how you anticipate she will look so that we can be prepared.
Recommend Support Groups
Provide us with information on in-person and virtual support groups. Although we may not be ready now, having information for later can be helpful.
We Appreciate the Keepsakes
We appreciate the keepsakes so much. They are a tangible reminder of our baby and how much we loved her!
Use Our Baby's Name
Please call our baby by his name. When you acknowledge him as a person, it gives us a sense of comfort. We will never tire of hearing his name or talking about our sweet boy.
Time with Baby
Encourage us to take as much time as we need with our baby. Let us have some privacy, but please also check on us.
Offer the Chaplain
Ask us if we would like to see the chaplain or if we would like to perform a special ceremony such as a baptism or blessing. Offer to call our own clergy member for us.
Encourage Self Care
Let us know that it is ok to take care of ourselves. We may be so consumed with grief that we might forget to eat or shower.
Help Us Make Memories
Help us to create meaningful memories with our baby. Encourage us to bathe, sing, and/or read with to him. These things help us bond with our baby and make us feel like parents.
Provide Printed Resources
Provide us with printed information and resources for when we go home. We process so much information in the first few days that we may not remember what you tell us.
Give us some time before asking us to make funeral arrangements. We are overwhelmed and haven't even processed what has happened yet.
Involve Our Family Members
Our family members can help support us through this process and help us make decisions. Encourage our family to help us do some research on burial options.
Help Us to Create a Birth Plan
If we have not yet delivered, help us to create a birth plan. Explain our options and give us time to ask questions.