Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day events are held on or around October 15 each year. Everyone is an individual and will respond to different help and advice. It is important to find an organisation that meets your needs.
The loss of a baby at any time is one of the most devastating experiences any parent can go through.
There are other counselling and support services available through qualified practitioners which the Maternity Services Unit at your local hospital or your GP can refer you to.
What you should know: The loss of a baby at any time is one of the most personally devastating experiences any parent can go through. As a bereaved parent you will experience deep grief and a mixture of emotions.
Although you may feel very alone at this moment; many families have been through similar experiences of loss and understand the need to be comforted and supported at this difficult time.
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The first few days: In the days after the loss of your baby, you will have to cope with deep grief and a mixture of emotions as well as the physical aspects of the postnatal period.
You may have to make many decisions about things you never imagined. No decisions will be easy to make, when all you want is to have your baby alive again. You may need information and facts about why your baby died:.
• Discuss a post mortem, so you may know why your baby died.
• Ask for information and facts about pregnancy loss.
• Understand your legal obligation. – At different stages of pregnancy, there are different legal requirements and choices.
If your baby was born when you were 20 weeks pregnant or more, or weighed at least 400 grams, or if he or she took a breath after the birth then you are legally required to have him or her cremated or buried in a cemetery.
You are also required to register your baby with the registry of births, deaths and marriages. The social worker at the hospital can help you. Don’t tackle this alone - Speak with hospital staff about the organisations and services available.
Remember - there are no wrong questions at this time.
Spend time with your baby and create memories: Take your time: hold, bathe and dress your baby; prepare to say goodbye. Consider if siblings, grandparents, etc and close friends may like to meet your baby.
Take your time: Don’t feel pressure to make decisions quickly. Take time to consider your options: go with what you feel is right.
Everyone grieves differently: Grieving a baby is hard because others may not acknowledge the depth of your loss.
Right now and in the months to come, you may feel very sad and empty, longing for your baby. You may feel very angry, guilty, frightened or bewildered. These feelings are all painful but normal.
Grieving is exhausting: be gentle and don’t expect too much of yourself. As time goes by, the pain will lessen. When you start to cope with loss and accept it, this means you are finding ways to live with it. Respect and support each other. Ask each other what would help most: time alone; a hug; talking about feelings; or some distraction. Ask for support from others when you need it.
For more information visit: www.15october.com.au. Rest assured there are many organisations available to provide support during this difficult time.