It is a tragedy, no matter what age your baby is, when a parent loses a child. The loss of a pregnancy or an infant is a painful experience that no one can prepare for. This kind of loss is likely to cause a lot of questions and frustrations that may be difficult to understand. The pain of what would have been is often the most difficult to work through and embrace. For many parents the intense grief that can come from the loss of a baby can cause overwhelming emotions and physical reactions. Grief is a natural process, which has no exact time frame and is experienced in very different ways.
The death of a baby may be something that your family will never really get over. During a time period such as this, it is important for parents to be supported and able to heal. With time and support you can work to move through your grief and onto healing. As time passes, you may find that the pain will lessen. Talking about your loss and your feelings may help with your healing process. Of course, you can talk to your partner and your family about what you are going through, but sometimes seeking outside support can help with the grieving and healing process.
Ways to Seek Support
During a tragedy such as this, it can be helpful to reach out to others for support. There are many different options available for support while grieving and healing from a pregnancy or infant loss. It is important to remember that you are not alone during this process and that there is help and support available.
- Your medical provider. Your medical provider may help to answer questions and help you to understand what caused your baby’s death. They can also help to send you in the right direction for a counselor or social worker to help with the grieving process.
- A grief counselor. A grief counselor is trained to help families through loss and grief. They can help you and your family through their grief on towards healing.
- Your religious leader. If you are religious or spiritual, your leader may be able to help comfort you throughout your grieving process.
- Support Groups. There are many different support groups available for pregnancy and infant loss. These groups can range from others who have gone through the tragic experience themselves, to trained professionals that will help you cope with grief. Support groups are designed to provide a compassionate environment that allows parents and families to work through the grieving process and to heal. These groups work to offer both support and sensitivity during such an emotionally raw time.
- Pregnancy after Loss Support. PALS, offers an entire list of support groups available. They provide a list that is broken down by state and includes the time and place where some groups meet.
- Healing Hearts. Baby Loss Comfort, also provide a list of support groups and Facebook Community groups that are available. This resource includes websites that may be helpful with understanding grief and why infant loss may occur. They also provide a list of websites that offer foundations and memorials for infant loss.
- Pregnancy Loss Directory. The Pregnancy Loss Directory also offers a list of support groups called Silent Sorrow, which is a professionally-led support group for perinatal & infant loss. These groups are both formal support groups or support organizations. This website provides a list of groups available throughout the United States, broken down by state.
- Saying Goodbye. Saying Goodbye offers many different resources such as support, understanding, and finding a counselor in your area.
- Hotlines. There are many different hotlines available to help cope with grief and loss.
- Reading and Books. There are many different books and guides available to help you through your loss. The March of Dimes offers a bereavement booklet, that offers a guide on how to understand and cope with grief from a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of a baby during or shortly after birth.
The loss of a pregnancy or an infant might be both overwhelming and frightening. It is something that no one should ever have to experience. While you may feel alone or numb during this time, it is important to know that a support system is available to you. It is important to not forget to put your emotional health and wellbeing as a priority. Grief is a process that has no set time. Try to let yourself go through the process at your own pace, while you work towards healing from your loss.