It’s important for you and your partner to take good care of yourselves as you grieve. Be sure that you take care of your health during this time.
Share your feelings and talk about your baby.
- Talk about your baby and your feelings about your loss with your partner, family and friends.
- Talk to your health care provider. Ask him or her to help you find a grief counselor. This is a person with special training to help people deal with their grief. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to someone other than your family and friends.
- Talk to your religious or spiritual leader. Your spiritual beliefs may be a comfort to you during this time. Go to your place of worship, such as a church, synagogue or mosque. Even your funeral home may offer support for grieving families.
- Join a support group. A support group is a group of people who have the same kind of concerns. They meet to share their feelings and try to help each other. Ask your provider to help you find a support group of other parents who have lost a baby. These parents understand what you’re going through. They can help you feel like you’re not alone.
- Read books and poems or listen to music that you like and find comforting.
- Make an album or memory box for keepsakes of your baby, like photos, a hospital bracelet or a blanket. Take time before making any changes
- You may already have baby things, like clothes, blankets and furniture. Leave them where they are until you feel ready to put them away.
- Try not to make big changes in your life (like moving to a new place or taking a new job) right after your baby dies. Wait a few months before you make changes like these. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your baby.
Do something in memory of your baby:
- Plan a special memorial service to remember your baby. Your hospital may have a service each year that you can go to.
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. You can even write letters or poems to your baby. Make an album or memory box for keepsakes.
- Plant flowers or a tree in honor of your baby.
- Wear special jewelry with a charm or birthstone.
- Make a donation to a local group in memory of your baby and to support other parents that may be experiencing a similar situation. Get help if needed as you grieve.
- Talk to your health care provider.
- Talk to your religious or spiritual leader.
- Join a support group.
- Talk to your local hospital social worker or bereavement coordinator.
- Talk to your friends and family.
Where can you get help as you grieve?
- Ask your friends and family for help. Tell them exactly what they can do for you. Ask them to help with childcare, go grocery shopping, make meals or just spend time with you.
- Ask the hospital social worker for help dealing with medical, insurance and funeral bills.
- Ask your provider for help if you think you’re depressed.
Signs of Depression
Everyone feels sad and blue sometimes. These feelings may be stronger after the death of a baby. If your feelings of sadness are really strong, last for a long time and prevent you from leading your normal life, you may need treatment for depression. Here are some signs of depression:
- Having little interest in your usual activities or hobbies
- Feeling tired all the time
- Gaining or losing weight
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Thinking about suicide or death
Tell your provider if you think you have any of the signs of depression. There are things you and your provider can do to help you feel better.
- Dealing with Grief After the Death of Your Baby
- Premature Birth
- Birth Defects and Other Health Conditions
March of Dimes –Free Printed Booklet for Grieving Families