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Support for the unthinkable

October 6, 2021

Stephanie White participated in NCH’s Bubble Ceremony to remember and celebrate the son she lost, Teddy White.

If you or someone you love has lost a child to ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death, SIDS or any other cause, you may know that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It is a time to not only honor bereaved parents and siblings, but also raise awareness about the challenges many families face and better understand the support they need from their community.

No matter how much time has passed, parents carry this grief with them.

One of the hardest things is to know how to support friends or family members dealing with this kind of loss.

Tips for Supporting Bereaved Parents

  • Say their baby’s name.
  • Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Provide space for families to talk about their babies.
  • Honor their child through gifts or remembrances.
  • Include the baby’s siblings.
  • Allow space for their emotions without trying to fix it.
  • Help with daily living needs.

Things Not to Say when Supporting Bereaved Parents

  • You can have another baby. (Parents don’t replace children.)
  • He or she is in a better place. (What better place than with mom and dad?)
  • It is time to move on. (Parents don’t move on, but they find ways to continue their bond with their child in their grief.)
  • At least_____________________ (There is no “at least” for families.)
  • Don’t be sad/don’t cry. (Families need space to process their emotions.)

NCH has a program to help support these families through the unimaginable not only during their hospital stay, but far beyond that. Our support services are not limited to those who delivered their babies here, but is open to all of our community.

There are two support groups for families which include Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Pregnancy and Parenting After Loss.

If you have questions or need additional resources, please reach out to Jill Kottmeier R.N., BSN, CPLC at jkottmeier@nch.org.

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