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The loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or during early infancy is a unique and often isolating grief experience.

Men and women may grieve differently. For women, grief will also be combined by the natural mood changes caused by the dropping hormone levels after having a baby. With men, expressing less emotion it is easy to assume that they are okay, but they will need time and space to grieve.

If you are experiencing this type of loss, we offer the resources and comforting tips below:

Make the most of your time together

When a baby dies there are often very few memories, take time to create memories through keepsakes and even photography. Spending time with your baby, naming him or her, washing their body are all opportunities to express your feelings for your baby and help understand the reality of your baby’s death. You may choose to involve family members or other siblings of the baby.

Not Knowing Is Okay

Decision making can be difficult as you experience an array of thoughts, feelings, and reactions after the loss. Ask for support and guidance from family, friends and hospital staff. Exploring options for funeral, cremation, burial can be difficult. Identify your options for postponing these decisions. This can also allow your body time to heal.

Remembering your Baby

Even if you didn’t get to see or hold your baby, you can still remember her/him. A few ideas include:

  • Collecting things like ultrasound photos, clothes, blankets and putting them in a keepsake box or album
  • Having a memorial service
  • Writing to your baby in a journal
  • Lighting a candle on special days
  • Planting a tree in memory of your baby
  • Have a piece of jewelry made with initials or a birthstone

Self Care

Your physical needs may become overshadowed after the loss of your baby. Medical follow-up is important to aid in restoring your physical health. Eating regularly, getting plenty of rest, and taking time for yourself and with others can help.

Accept Help

Family and friends may want to help, and you may either appreciate this or find it exhausting. Be honest and set boundaries with them. If you have trusted friends or family, they may be able to help with cooked meals, shopping, looking after other children, etc.

 

Hosparus Health Grief Counseling Center offers hope with grief counseling services and programs to help cope with life-changing loss. If you are struggling with grief, reach out to us for additional resources and help: 502-456-4551, or online here.

 

This article was originally published in January 2019.

 

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