Suggestions from Bereaved Parents
You may receive advice from family and friends over the next few days about decisions you will be making and emotions you are experiencing. However, unless a person has been in your situation he/she may not fully understand what you are going through. You may find comfort in advice from other parents who have lost a baby. The following are suggestions from bereaved parents to newly bereaved parents:
- Name the baby.
- Find out the sex of the baby if possible. Not knowing the sex of the baby can be painful when explaining the loss to others and may make the baby seem like less of a person.
- See the products of conception/tissue to make the baby more real – especially if others are saying what happened is not important.
- Do not rush out of the hospital; spend lots of time with your baby rocking, singing lullabies, just being alone.
- See and hold your baby as many times as you want.
- Have your baby baptized or blessed according to your religious beliefs.
- Have a memorial service to allow family to vent their grief, to celebrate your baby’s short life, to say goodbye, and to draw strength from each other.
Suggestions for Remembrance
- Create a baby book or memory book. Write down important events such as phone calls and visitors, before and after the birth.
- Keep a journal.
- Have pictures taken of your baby at the hospital and funeral home if appropriate.
- Save mementos such as a lock of hair, photos, ID bracelets, clothing, ultrasound pictures, stuffed animals, anything that has touched your baby.
- Wear a remembrance of your baby, such as a charm on a necklace, locket or your baby’s birthstone.
- Plant a tree or other plant as a living memorial.
- Buy a holiday ornament with your baby’s name and birth date.