As soon as we know that we are expecting a baby, our baby feels a part of us. When our baby dies, at whatever age and from whatever cause, part of us dies too. Although our time with them has been short, our loss can feel overwhelming; the life we looked forward to sharing will now not happen and we shall never know the person they would have become in adulthood.
TCF’s leaflet Grieving For Our Baby looks at the grief of losing a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth, where there has been no relationship outside the womb; at neonatal death, where we may not be able to hold our baby; the loss of one of multiple births; and the shock of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).
It also covers managing contact with health professionals and the police; practicalities like what to do with the baby things waiting at home; the specific feelings of mothers, of fathers and of grandparents; the reaction of friends and family; and telling your other children that their brother or sister has died. Our leaflet Our Surviving Children discusses how children of different ages understand death, and how we can help them.
Some of us will have another baby and our leaflet explores how we might integrate the memories of our baby into our story, affirming that he or she lived and is forever part of our family.
Our main support for parents who have lost a baby, toddler or pre-school child is through our private Facebook group for parents who have suffered the loss of a baby, toddler or pre-school child and our occasional online support group meetings which are facilitated by bereaved parents. To join our Facebook Group, contact the moderators, Kate or Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to join. We will ask you a few questions about your loss (in order to keep the group safe and secure for bereaved parents only), and then be able to email you a link to join the group.
We also run occasional online one-off support groups for parents who have lost a baby, toddler or pre-school child. You can find more details at www.tcf.org.uk/onlineevents
Please note: Our support is for parents who have given birth to a baby who then tragically dies shortly after or in the weeks and months following birth and up to 4 years old. Please note that loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or other neo-natal loss is best supported through other agencies (see below)
Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.