Wellness Resources > How to Cope
Preparing for a stillborn delivery
Make plans before you come in to delivery so you can focus on your baby in the short time you have with her.
In the moment
Designate someone to make the plans so you can spend time with your baby
Take pictures, make footprints, keep the baby’s blanket, take family pictures. Invite your family to see and hold the baby. Name the baby. Request a baptism.
What to say and not to say.
Have a special ceremony for your child. You can dress her in clothes you had bought for her and ask your pastor to bless her.
The loss of the baby is compounded by the loss of your dreams, hopes, and expectations of mothering this child.
Hold the baby. It's practically unimaginable, holding your lifeless child in your arms, and you may be tempted to refuse. But as terrifying as it might be, hold your baby if at all possible. It's far more difficult to grieve for a child you've never seen or touched. When you've begun to heal, you'll cherish the memory of holding your baby in your arms — even just that once.
Name the baby. The person you lost will not be replaced, and people have names. Give your child a name and say it aloud. Grieving for someone, not just "the baby," will make the death more real to you, and it will help you, ultimately, say good-bye.
Take a photograph. If you can't, ask someone else to do it for you. You don't have to look at it right away, but it might be precious to you later. Save it, along with special keepsakes such as a lock of hair, a receiving blanket, or other tokens, so that there's something tangible for you to hang on to and treasure. Don't think of this as morbid: It's vital to have something left, so that when you wonder whether any of this was real, you can touch something and know that it was.
Participate in the funeral arrangements. No one ever imagines such a thing as a baby's funeral. You will certainly be at a loss and need help, but you may regret delegating all the responsibilities to someone else. Do what you can to select the place, contribute to the eulogy, and talk to the funeral director. Days, months, or even years later you may take comfort in knowing that you did the very best for your baby every step of the way.
The information on this website is provided for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, or in place of therapy or medical care.