With so little to remember their baby by, it can be difficult to know how to commemorate the huge loss, of both their baby and the future that might have been.
Whilst the grieving process often begins as private and intimate, some then choose to honour their baby’s short life 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. A lot of mums and dads also choose to ask for donations to Tommy’s at their baby’s funeral if one is held, instead of flowers.
How some have chosen to remember their baby
Below are some suggestions of other things that you can do to help create special memories:
- Keep letters and cards.
- You may wish to press the flowers you receive.
- Many families find it helpful to write about their experiences. Try writing a diary or a letter to your baby.
- If you have lost your baby during or after the birth, the first few days are crucial for gathering moments and memories. Spend as much time with your baby as you want. You can often visit your baby after leaving hospital. Some families may wish to take their baby home with them for a day or so.
- It is natural to spend time talking, touching, cuddling and comforting your baby.Being together as a family is often very important. You may want to include other family members or close friends.
- You can dress, wash or undress your baby as you wish. Some mothers wish they had undressed their babies to look at their bodies. You may like to keep the clothes your baby wore. Take as many photographs as you wish. You may like some photographs of the baby being cuddled by you and different family members. Don’t be afraid of taking close up shots.
- Take a lock, or several, of your baby’s hair. The hospital will also make hand, foot and ear prints if you wish. Keep hospital nametags and other items and keep them in a special memory box.
You may not feel like doing any of the above so soon after you have experienced your loss, this is completely natural. But we have found that many mums and dads often come to regret this decision once they have had more time to start coming to terms with what has happened. We suggest not throwing things away immediately; it is never too late to start creating memories
Holding a ceremony
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:
16th July – 5.00pm – Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire
30th July – 12.30pm – Canterbury Cathedral
3rd September – 1.30pm – Exeter Cathedral
24th September – 11.00am – Glasgow Cathedral
28th September – 7.30pm – St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness
2nd October – 3.00pm – Sunderland Minster
16th October – 4.00pm – Bradford Cathedral
13th November – 6.30pm – Ely Cathedral
18th November – 7.15pm – Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff
20th November – 7.00pm – Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire
27th November – 3.30pm – Westminster Central Hall, London
Creating an In memory page
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@example.com or call on 020 7398 3400.
Making the decision to try again for another baby after a stillbirth is a very personal one
A 'stillbirth' is the death of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy but before birth.
The loss of a baby at any time is one of the most devastating and personally unique experiences any individual can go through.
Some women say they simply knew something was wrong and went to hospital. Others weren’t aware until a routine appointment finds no heartbeat, or a scan reveals the baby has died.
After losing your baby you will have to cope with immense grief and a mixture of emotions, as well as the physical aspects of losing a baby.
After a stillbirth you will have to deal with the emotions of losing your child.