There is no easy answer to this difficult question. Providing and seeking support is essential to move through this process.
The truth is, infant death makes most people uncomfortable. It is so hard to know the right thing to say to someone who has lost a baby, either at the time of their loss or even years later. The trend in the field of perinatal loss is to acknowledge that parents begin the bonding process with their babies long before the birth of the child.
Parents who have experienced the loss of a baby often mention how they can sense other people’s discomfort around the topic of their loss. If you know parents in this position, it may be that the best way to help is to follow their lead. You could encourage them to participate in a walk or other activity to support families who have lost infants and even join along with them. If you are in this situation, organizations like SHARE provide education about perinatal loss and offer local support groups for parents and their families.
Reviewed by Dr. Eva Benmeleh, September 2020