Advice For Surviving A Stillbirth

A stillbirth is something that can turn a family upside down. When this occurs, it can be hard to know how to react or what to do. Some of the following information may be helpful after experiencing a stillbirth:

Make the Best Choices for Yourself

Each parent reacts differently when a stillbirth occurs. There is no "normal" way that a mother or father should act after a baby is born without life. Don't be afraid to express your emotions and allow yourself to grieve in your own way. If you want to spend several hours with your stillborn child, consider appointing a family member or friend to express how you feel and speak on your behalf.

Consider Having Photos Taken

Every family is unique, but many parents end up being happy that they had photographs taken of their stillborn child with themselves and family members. Many photographers will offer this service for free or at a greatly discounted rate. Having photos taken is a wonderful way to preserve the memory of a baby who was lost too soon, but it is up to you to do what feels comfortable for your family.

Make Funeral Arrangements

Most hospitals have social workers who can assist parents of a stillborn child make final arrangements. How you want to deal with this is up to you, but many parents want to recognize their baby. It is not uncommon for funeral homes to waive their costs for cremation services or embalming services for a stillborn baby. If a funeral home is not able to completely waive the cost, they can often offer a discount. If you want your stillborn child buried, you will need to contact a cemetery to inquire about a plot.

Gather Support

The aftermath of a stillbirth can be very hard for both parents. It is very difficult to be so hopeful and excited for one date, only to have that day turn into something that that negatively effects the rest of your life. Joining a support group with other parents who have also gone through a stillbirth can be very helpful, and individual therapy can be very beneficial when processing the loss of a child who was born at full term, but was not born alive. After something like a stillbirth, don't hesitate to turn to friends and family to provide love and support. 

Above all, make sure that you and your spouse let yourselves grieve the way you need to.