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 2018 remembrance services:
The 2018 services are:
April 14 – Exeter Cathedral– 1pm
April 22 – Sunderland Minster– 3pm
May 12 – Winchester Cathedral – 10.30am – followed by National Candle Lighting
Jun 3 – St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast – 3.30pm
Jun 9 – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford – 7.30pm
Jun 16 – Derby Cathedral – 3.00pm
Jul 14 – Manchester Cathedral – 2.30pm
Jul 21 – Tewkesbury Abbey – 11.00am
Sep 8 – Malmesbury Abbey – 3.30pm
Sep 9 – Wimborne Minster – 3.00pm
Sep 22 – Glasgow Cathedral – 11.00am
Sep 26 – St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness – 7.00pm
Sep 29 – St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen – 3.00pm
Oct 13 – Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff – 2.30pm
Oct 21 – Bradford Cathedral – 4.00pm
Nov 14 – St Andrew’s Minster, Plymouth – 7.00pm
Nov 18 – Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire – 6.30pm
Nov 25 – Westminster Central Hall, London – 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.
I told myself ‘Surely it won’t happen again, we can’t be that unlucky’.
I asked my GP if I could be transferred to St Marys hospital were I was born.
I’d kept an eye on the research being done by Tommy’s ever since a wonderful sonographer at my local hospital had mentioned the work of Professor Siobhan Quenby.
We recently had the pleasure of hosting two very important supporters to our Imperial Centre.
- 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.