Monday, May 11, 2009

I need help with stillbirth please?

Hi, i need honest decent answers please. One of my closest friends has just given birth to a still born daughter at 26 weeks. There was complications which we all knew of but we all- even the doctors, thought the baby would be fine and would survive. Sadly she didnt. I have never had to deal with this kind of thing before, i know she had to give birth and the baby was fully formed etc but what is the procedure for after, will there be a funeral? do we send sympathy cards, flowers etc? i also am struggling to find things to say to them both. Please help

I need help with stillbirth please?
There may be a ceremony, they will speak to her in the hospital about this. They will be given the option to take photos and get hand prints etc. This alone is very traumatic but your friend will most like be in a state of subdued shock, although she may not realise it. This is the body's way of protecting itself in times of high stress and trauma. It is not going to hit home until the service is over and your friend is back home with her shattered life to be eventually put back together. This is an overwhelming task, too huge to even comprehend for some time.This girl is going to go through her own personal hell. It is going to affect her in ways she did not anticipate or even know was possible.

Her world will be turned upside down and she is going to need a VERY long time to recover.

Initially, be there and let her know you are there, even if its just a text message every day. She will need to talk. She will not like to be alone for too long as the pain is ever present.

Let her speak about her experience as often as she needs, and she will neeed to - very often. She will have so so so much emotional trauma to acknowledge and eventually work out and come to terms with. She has just given birth so her hormones are going to be all over the place for a VERY long time. This also greatly impacts levels of anxiety and confusion.

Her partner will want to be there for her but he will grieve differently. Men grieve very differently to women and they may not see eye to eye on this. Please if anything, explain this to her or help her to understand this. Understanding of this fact can save a lot of anguish and can save relationships.

They will need time alone and they will also need time apart.

Its a HUGE huge shock to take in and that alone will take days, weeks or even months to thaw out.

There are a huge array of emotions to identify, accept and work through to get on to the path of healing. Its going to be very very rough for her especially in the first few months. The pain is in-comprehensible. Even to the person experiencing the pain.

Trying to make sense of the senseless.

Trying to make sense of loving some one that you never knew, trying to overcome the hopes and dreams. Being ready for motherhood with nothing to mother.

She's going to need strong people or one strong friend. Encourage her to join a support group or even see a professional Grief Counsellor just so her grief can be validated and she can be told that EVERYTHING she is experiencing is totally normal. Grief has many many reactions physical and emotional and its like trying to make your way through a dense forest. Some days you can actually be lucky to realise that you are in a forest. Most others you have no idea where you are.

You will also have a period of your own personal grief for your friend, you need to acknowledge this and also work through it.

Her grief is profound and intense. No one understands unless they have gone through it. I had no idea until I experienced it myself. That was only 7 months ago. Some days I still have no idea how I stumbled through but Im on the road to peace and hope for it every day.

You are a good friend to care. Please be patient with your friend and dont distance yourself even if she pushes you away, she really really needs to know that there are people who care.
Reply:Treat it as you would for anyone else that has died. This was her baby, no matter what the gestation was. Send cards and flowers and comfort her. The funeral will be up to the parents to decide. They may forgo and do something private, or just have a memorial service.

I would just put my arms around her and tell her that she could cry as long as she wants. Tell her that you can't exactly know how she feels, but you will be there for her anytime she needs you. Tell her that the baby knows she loved her.
Reply:The very best thing you can do is tell your friend that you are there for her and are ready to listen when she is ready to talk/vent/cry... Some people do have a service and burial... Follow your friend's lead. If there is a funeral so what you would do for a funeral (mass card/flowers). Let your friend know that whatever she thinks and feels is not wrong - she is allowed her emotions. And do not say "it was for the best". It wasn't to her.

You are a good friend:)
Reply:I would send her flowers with a sympathy card. give her a big hug and let her know you are there for her if she needs to cry, scream, yell or just to have you there w/out words. I'm so so so sorry for her loss, I couldn't even imagine losing my baby. My deepest sympathy's are with her. God Bless.
Reply:You sound like a very good friend. When I lost my daughter (Tori) at 26 wks as well, we chose to have a memorial service. I think that it really helped me to grieve. Be there for her, even though she may try to push you away at first. She is going to need you. Even if she chooses not to have a service, cards and flowers will help her to realize that she has so many people that care for her.
Reply:I am so sorry for their loss. You should treat this is a loss and I am sure the family would appreciate a sympathy card or flowers. You can also say that you are deply sorry for their loss and words cannot explain how sad of a loss it is. It's hard to really know what to tell a grieving family.
Reply:yes, a card and flowers would be nice... if there is a funeral im sure your friend will let you know...


Everything happens for a reason.

Your young, you can have another.

At least you still have your other children. [[if there are older kids]]

This is for the best [[because of complications]]

These are very heartbreaking for an angel mommy to hear.
Reply:Some people choose to have a funeral and some just do something private. Either way this is no different than if your friend lost an older child and they are in pain and grieving. Bring over dinner, do something that will help them out, send a card. Any of the things you would do after the loss of a loved one. It is so nice that you are thinking of your friend right now. She will need good friends right now.
Reply:Sooo sooo very sorry for their loss!

Most def. they could have a memorial service, if they choose to, sympathy card and flowers wouldnt be out of line either...just be there as much as she will allow, this is a hard time for her as well.
Reply:Thats so sad. Some people yes they do have funerals, others dont. You would just have to wait and see. Yes it would be a nice gesture to send a card or something. Ive never went thru this, just read articles on it. But it would be terrible.
Reply:Yes, you treat it like a loss. You should definitely acknowledge the loss with cards, flowers, funeral etc. Give as much support as you can give.
Reply:I lost my son at 32 weeks gestation. We had a memorial service for him,although she may chose not too.I also received cards and flowers and thought it was nice. It's hard to know what to say....say your sorry for her loss and give her a big hug,and then just listen. Even though i have personally been thru this i still don't know what to say to someone who has just gone thru this pain.Every women deals with this differently. Just be there for her. Good luck.
Reply:allielea !

A loss of a child is considered one of the deepest pains, regardless of a child's age. The pain of what would have been is often the most difficult to embrace and work through. Family and friends often feel helpless when someone close to them experiences a miscarriage because no one has any control over it or can prevent it from happening. When a miscarriage occurs, society's attitude is to not talk about it, in fear that it's too upsetting. However, not talking about it only makes it harder to move on.

A still birth leaves a woman in a state of physical and emotional readiness for a baby that will never be. Grief is a natural process which has no exact time frame and is experienced in unique ways by different individuals. Supporting a grieving person does not mean you can take away the pain, but you may be able to help lighten the stress by being more aware and well informed.

Often parents who are experiencing a stillbirth turn to the baby's grandparents, other family members, friends and professionals (including nurses, clergy, and health care providers,) but can't find the words to express the kind of support they need. As a supportive person, you may feel helpless, threatened or vulnerable. You may even want to avoid dealing with the loss or wish the parents would hide their grief. You can turn these natural feelings into support for the grieving family

How Can Family and Friends Show Support?


Listen, Listen, Listen! A person who has experienced a stillbirth may need to tell his/her story repeatedly. Show you care by your attentiveness, gestures, and eye contact.


Be prepared to talk about the baby. Hearing others say the name helps a grieving person heal.


Know when to be silent... sometimes it is best to say nothing at all. A grieving person may just want someone to listen.


Be aware that grief has physical reactions as well as emotional reactions on the body. Physical reactions include: poor appetite, disturbed sleep patterns, restlessness, low energy, and other pains. Emotional reactions may include: panic, persistent fears, nervousness and nightmares. Encourage your friend or family member to call you or reach out when they experience these feelings.


Encourage the grieving person to express pain and stress. By working through feelings such as anger, guilt, sadness, doubt and frustration, the normal process of grief and healing occurs. Continue to encourage communication.


Understand that grief is an individual process that is bound by no exact time frame. This frame of time involves finding ways of living with memories and the pain associated with the loss.


Reassure the grieving person that their feelings and reactions are normal and necessary for healing.


Remember that specific dates or events such as the anniversary of the loss or the expected due date, may trigger an emotional response. Encourage communication during this time. Perhaps a card or small remembrance.

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