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Saying Hello and Goodbye: Spending Time with Your Stillborn Baby

Losing a baby is one of the most profound and devastating experiences a parent can go through. In the midst of immense grief, a question often arises: Should you spend time with your stillborn baby?


This is an intensely personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. What matters most is what feels right for you and your family.


This blog post aims to provide information and support as you navigate this difficult decision. We acknowledge that your emotions are raw and complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.




Reasons Why Parents Choose to Spend Time with Their Stillborn Baby:

  • Creating Memories: Holding your baby, even if briefly, can help create precious memories that can be cherished and provide comfort throughout the grieving process.

  • Feeling Connected: Spending time allows you to acknowledge your baby's existence and express your love and goodbyes.

  • Aids in Processing Grief: Some parents find that having this time fosters a sense of closure and acceptance, and can aid in processing their grief.

  • Making Decisions: Seeing your baby might help you make decisions regarding clothing, photographs, or other mementos.

What to Expect:

The hospital staff is trained to support you in making this decision and are entirely prepared to accommodate your wishes. They can provide a quiet, private space, blankets, and keepsakes.

It's important to understand that your baby may appear different due to the stillbirth. Be prepared for this, and reach out to the staff if you have any questions or concerns.


If You Choose Not to Spend Time with Your Baby:

This decision is equally valid. You may not feel emotionally ready, or you may have cultural or religious beliefs that influence your choice. Respect your intuition and any restrictions you may feel.


Remember:

  • Take your time: There's no pressure to make a decision immediately. You can take as long as you need to process and consider what feels right for you.

  • Communicate openly: Talk to your partner, family, and healthcare providers about your feelings and concerns. Their understanding and support are crucial during this difficult time.

  • Seek professional support: Don't hesitate to seek help from a therapist or counselor specializing in grief and perinatal loss. They can provide tools and guidance to navigate this challenging journey.

Additional Resources:

Regardless of your decision, your grief is valid and deserves to be acknowledged and supported. Remember, you are not alone. Surround yourself with loved ones, seek professional help, and allow yourself time to heal in the way that feels most right for you.

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Does your hospital have a cooling cradle?

Donating a Cenotaph Cradle to your local hospital can memorialize a baby, and help families affected by infant loss in the future gain the gift of time. 

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