Search

Stillborn Baby

Stillborn Baby

This past weekend was the hardest thing my family has ever had to deal with. My sister gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. She is obviously going through a very difficult time, as are we all. Does anyone have any advice on how we can help her cope with this loss? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  1. Shelley, I am so sorry to hear this and am keeping your sister and your family in my thoughts. I cannot imagine the grief that accompanies the loss of a child but I do know that there are wonderful and supportive baby loss communities that can be found on the internet. I follow the blog of a woman who lost her daughter, Mabel, hours after birth earlier this year and she writes wonderfully of her experience. She also has connections within the baby loss community and her blog may have links to other online support.
    http://expectingtheunexpectedblog.wordpress.com

    Reply Flag this comment
  2. I just found this link as well. Maybe it will be a good place to start. <3
    http://hygeiafoundation.org

    Reply Flag this comment
  3. Shelley,
    I am so sorry for your sister’s loss. My condolences to her and your entire family. What support did she receive at the hospital? Was there a professional who met with her and provided her with information about local resources for the death of a baby? Hospitals may have different protocols in place for managing the loss of a baby. There are many decisions to be made after a stillbirth, and especially if it is unexpected these choices may feel incredibly overwhelming. You can be helpful by seeking information for her to help begin her process of healing. Is she planning a religious ceremony to memorialize her daughter? You can help her find information about local memorial chapels who are experienced working with parents who’ve lost a child. A wonderful place to begin is with the organization Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support. They are a national nonprofit that works to assist families who have experienced the tragic death of a baby. Their website http://www.nationalshare.org has many resources for bereaved parents and educational materials for supportive friends and family members. Share also has many local chapters that offer free support groups to families. If Share does not have a local chapter, there may be support offered by your local hospice organization. Share may also have a list of local providers who are experienced in helping families to cope with their loss.

    Reply Flag this comment
    1. Thank very much for this information. A ceremony has been planned for this Friday. I am going to look into Share and hopefully they will have a local chapter. My sister is not doing well at all and we, as a family, are willing to try anything that will help her get through this difficult time. Also, thank you Laura for your advice as well. I have been reading the blog about baby Mabel and it is heartbreaking.

      Flag this comment Reply
  4. I am so sorry for your sister’s loss. It is a long and difficult road of grieving. I gave birth to my own stillborn son 2 1/2 yrs ago when I was 33weeks pregnant. There is a lot of self-blame and anger. But i read a book called “still to be born” that i read multiple times in the months after his death that helped me a lot. It put all the (at times crazy) feelings and thoughts i had into words- and it was the words of other parents that had gone thru the same tragedy. Journaling helped. I eventually went to grief counseling because i personally did not want to go to a group therapy setting. The burial was very sad but it was a sense of closure. I know that I didnt want to be around people at all or do anything- but gently persistent friends that made me leave the house for lunch or coffee helped. Let her feel sad, let her feel all the emotions, let her verbalize all the crazy and irrational thoughts that she is thinking. You dont have to correct her thinking but ask additional questions to make her reason herself that its not her fault. I always thought “was it that tea i drank, that food i ate, that bag that was too heavy and i lifted it anyway, did i sleep on my stomach to much, i bent over to long, i didnt wear gloves while i cleaned with chemicals that ONE time…” The list can keep going. It helped to look at pictures of ultrasound, to see the things we had bought but in small doses- then distract with a task or a chore. Developing a routine helps to distract and get out of bed in the mornings because that was the worst time: when you open your eyes and it wasnt all just a nightmare. I hope this helps in some way.

    Reply Flag this comment
    1. Thank you so much for your advice. I am so sorry for your loss as well. My sister is heartbroken. She is not eating or wanting to leave the house. We have gotten her to start sipping on Ensure in order to get some nutrition in her body. She has a wonderful support system, but unfortunately we can’t bring back her little girl. She has feelings of guilt and wonders if she could have prevented this. She noticed that she hadn’t felt the baby move in a few days and therefore called her doctor. An ultrasound determined that the baby was no longer alive. After delivery, it was discovered that the umbilical cord was twisted like an old phone cord. We continue to reassure her that there was nothing that could have been done and that it was absolutely not her fault. The burial is this Friday and we are hoping that it does help to somewhat bring closure. I am going to order the book that you recommended. It really helps to take advice from someone who has experienced this firsthand. Thank you again for taking the time to offer your help and share your experience.

      Flag this comment Reply
      1. I completely understand. I didnt eat for two weeks. Try making her favorite foods- get the house smelling tempting. Glad to hear she has so much support- it may not seem like it but it is noticed by her. Its important to keep that going in the next few weeks, someone to always be present, basically not leaving her alone. The first month i’d say was the hardest because of the depression and the dark thoughts. If she still isnt eating/sleeping/leaving the house after a few weeks you’ll have to get her to a doctor. Anti depressants can be helpful and i believe have their place in lifting the dark cloud to process the grief.

        Flag this comment Reply

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.

Tell us who you are! We use your name to make your comments, emails, and notifications more personal.