No matter how early or late you miscarry, you might feel grief-stricken by your loss. One of the ways to cope with this grief is to acknowledge it by commemorating your loss, of both your baby and the future that might have been.
It can be difficult to find ways to do this, particularly if you’ve had an early miscarriage and don’t have anything tangible to hold or memories to cherish.
Ways to remember your baby
- Many families find it helpful to write about their experiences. Try writing a diary or a letter to your baby. You can share your own miscarriage story with Tommy’s here
- You may want to keep scan pictures, your pregnancy journal and any health notes in a special box.
- Press any flowers you receive.
- Light a candle for your baby on anniversaries or other memorable dates, or on Baby Loss Awareness Day (15 October).
- Leave an entry for your baby in your hospital’s Book of Remembrance.
- Buy something special in memory of your baby, for example a piece of jewellery.
“My husband gave me a locket on our wedding day to put photos of our future children in. Around the time of our miscarriage, my locket got dented – it sounds strange but I take great comfort in thinking that this little mark was a memory of our first baby.
- Plant a tree or flowers at home, or in a local garden of remembrance.
- Before 24 weeks, there is no legal recognition of your baby’s short life. However, some hospitals provide a certificate in memory of your baby. Ask the hospital chaplain or bereavement service.
- Even if you don’t know the sex of your baby, you may wish to name him.
“For a long time I didn’t feel justified in giving my baby a name. There’s such a stigma attached to early miscarriage, a lack of understanding. In the end I called him Ezra, it seemed wrong not to give him a name and doing so really helped me.”Melissa's story. Read more...
Holding a ceremony
You may choose to have a funeral, ceremony or memorial service for your baby. You could have it just for you and your partner, or ask close friends and family.
There is no law about burial of babies born under 24 weeks. Some hospitals may offer a simple burial or funeral that is likely to incur costs.
You might want to attend a remembrance service. Ask your hospital chaplain if the hospital holds a service for babies who have died there.
‘Saying Goodbye’ services are held at cathedrals across the UK, the USA and Canada for people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth, or in infancy, whether recently or in the past. Here is a full list of Saying Goodbye's 2016 remembrance services:
The 2017 services are:
Saturday April 8th – Exeter Cathedral – 1.30pm
Saturday April 29th – Plymouth Minster – 4.00pm
Saturday May 13th – Winchester Cathedral – 10.30am
Saturday May 20th – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford – 7.30pm
Sunday May 28th – St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast – 3.30pm
Saturday July 1st – Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury – 6.00pm
Saturday July 8th – Manchester Cathedral – 2.30pm
Saturday July 15th – Derby Cathedral – 3.00pm
Sunday July 23rd – Wimborne Minster – 3.00pm
Saturday Sep 9th – Malmesbury Abbey – 3.30pm
Sunday Sep 24th – Sunderland Minster – 3.00pm
Wednesday Sep 27th – St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness – 7.30pm
Saturday Sep 30th – Glasgow Cathedral – 11.00am
Sunday Oct 8th – Lincoln Cathedral – 2.00pm
Sunday Oct 15th – Chelmsford Cathedral – 6.00pm
Sunday Oct 29th – Bradford Cathedral – 4.00pm
Sunday Nov 19th – Ely Cathedral – 6.30pm
Sunday Nov 26th – Westminster Central Hall – 3.30pm
Whilst the grieving process often begins as private and intimate, some then choose to honour their baby’s memory with a tribute page, in which donations are given to a charity of choice. This allows friends and family to show their support through messages and donations, and provides a channel through which to turn grief into something positive.
Tommy's offers the option of In memory pages and the donations help fund our research to prevent pregnancy loss.
We hope that by offering our in-memory tribute page service, we can in some way aid this process. You can also take comfort in knowing that all donations received through tribute pages come directly to us, and are put towards our research projects. So, any donations you raise help us to find out why babies are lost during pregnancy and birth, and stop others’ experiencing the loss you have felt.
If you have any questions about setting up a tribute page, or have any problems whilst doing so, please contact us at [email protected] or call on 020 7398 3400.
Suffering a miscarriage can be a very sad, scary or lonely experience. This section of our site is designed to answer questions and provide support to you, a family member or friend, through this difficult time.
A stillbirth is the death of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy but before birth.
Everything in my pregnancy had been going fine, no problems at all. We had been to America for 2 weeks, I had awful travel sickness but other than that I was fine.
But what I really wanted to share was our rainbow baby journey. We found out in august we were pregnant again, cue all the anxieties about the first one and wondering if we might go through it all again.
Very often I would talk to Bambi in my mind knowing that no one else in the world could hear what I was saying to my previous baby, it was our own private conversation.
All I could hear was the word miscarriage. My partner tried to calm me down, advising that maybe we did have the dates wrong and that we were going to be fine.
- The Miscarriage Association, Marking your loss: http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/marking-your-loss/?gclid=Cj0KEQiA6bq2BRC6ppf0_83Z1YIBEiQAgPYNvVtQCXyxLhC0dK5Up4_whQsxfRzmGzB6Ds92HY5eEiEaAoZn8P8HAQ [accessed 28 February 2016].
ℹLast reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.