Monday, October 31, 2011

Healing Hearts - Baby Loss Comfort

I think it's really hard to know what to say when you know that someones baby may not make it, or if the baby does pass away. Emotions are running high anyhow. A loss is devastating!

I felt this way over the summer when I knew my sister's baby was going to have problems. He stopped breathing many times. Somehow my nephew that has many odds against him, is now over 4 months old.

At the time, I didn't know what to say. She is my sister, and I didn't know how to comfort her. Nothing can prepare you for those days ahead.

If someone losses a baby, it is a major loss. I'm not sure all people can understand this. Some, especially people that have never carried a baby see it like this, "They can try again." Like it's no big deal. It's a huge deal! The parents worry that the same scenario could happen again.

A woman carries a baby in her for 9 months. There is a bond established. Daddy and Mommy had a chance to feel the baby move. Both parents got to see the ultrasound and get pictures.

Talking about the baby helps. Many wonder, "How do I talk about a life I never knew?"

Healing Hearts - Baby Loss Comfort is a great resource to go for baby loss.

What to say:
  • Many parents have a hard time knowing what to do, they are lacking on sleep and their minds are all over the place during a situation like this. You can offer to call people for them.
  • Let them know it's ok to cry.
  • Let them know that their child was unique, special and irreplaceable.
  • Talk to them about what their baby was like, even if they only knew the baby when they were inside the womb.
  • Offer to help them sort through the baby's clothes, toys and furniture when they are ready. Do not push them to do this.
  • If they have other kids, offer to take them out. This is one thing I did a lot of with my nephews.
  • Offer to run errands for them.
  • Tell them to be patient with themselves and give themselves time to heal. Let them know that there are no rules about grieving.
  • Offer to take care of the siblings during the funeral.
  • Talk about their  pregnancy and baby.
  • Don't forget. They may not be ready to talk right away. Talk later on. Take them out to lunch.
  • Give them a list of support groups for when they are ready.
What not to say:
  • Don't make it sound like it was meant to be, or God's will.
  • Don't mention that their baby is in a better place. To the Mom, the best place is with her!
  • Don't rush the experience. Death is not something that can be rushed. Let them hold their baby if they pass, take photos. Time does not heal all wounds.
  • Don't talk about how you know how they feel. (Unless you have personally experienced the loss of a baby.)
  • Don't talk about their other children being all that they need. Each child is different.
  • Don't mention how it could have been worse. Each death experience is hard in it's own way.
Sources: 
Grieving Resources
Healing Gifts
Remembering Baby

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