Dealing With Grief


Talk about the baby and your feelings with your partner, family, and friends. It may sound trite, but this is an excellent outlet for releasing bottled-up emotions. Try to resume old and start new relationships as a couple and as individuals.


Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutritional foods and try to avoid junk and fast foods.


Drink eight glasses of liquids per day. It may be useful to keep a measured jug of water in the refrigerator to assure you are drinking enough. Avoid alcohol or caffeine because they may cause dehydration, headaches and/or lower back pain.


Do something active every day, such as biking, walking, jogging, aerobics or stretching. Even a walk around the block can be helpful.


Avoid tobacco because it depletes the body of vitamins, increases acidity of the stomach, decreases circulation and can cause heart palpitations. Do not drink alcoholic beverages because they depress bodily functions and natural emotional expression and contribute to depression.


Try to resume normal sleep patterns, avoid increased work activity, and maintain rest patterns, even if you are unable to sleep.


Read books, articles, and poems that provide understanding and comfort so you do not feel alone. Books on all aspects of grief are available at bookstores and libraries. Avoid technical medical publications.


Keep a diary or journal of your thoughts, memories or mementos. Write letters, notes, and poems to or about your baby. Writing down your thoughts and moods helps you prepare for positive change. When you look back later, you will be surprised at the progress you have made.


Schedule a physical examination about four months after experiencing the loss of your baby to assess your physical health as the body may demonstrate responses to grief.


Do not move, change jobs or relationships. Wait at least 12 months before making these changes. Your coping mechanisms, reflexes, and judgment are impaired while you are coping with grief. Do not put away baby clothes until you are ready. Do not let others make decisions for you.


Admit to yourself and your family when you need help. This can lessen your pain and loneliness. Accept help from others. Give others specific tasks they can help you with, like preparing food or providing child care. Accept whatever they offer, even if you did not request it. Allow family and friends to share your grief and let them offer support. Attend a support group. Others who have been there can give support, help, and hope.


Request help and support from your clergy to renew your faith and hope. Resume past spiritual activities.