Tommy's PregnancyHub

If your premature baby dies

Most premature babies go on to lead healthy lives, but unfortunately a very small proportion of them do not survive. There is support available if this happens.

Every parent responds in their own way to the loss of their baby and your grief may include shock, guilt, sadness, anger and despair. As well as coping with these profound emotions, you will need to manage a number of practical things, such as telling your family, registering the death, deciding whether to agree to a post-mortem, and thinking about whether to have a funeral or other ceremony for your baby.

What happens when a baby dies

Hospitals have procedures to follow when a baby dies, and you may find these a source of comfort at this devastating time. They may give you the chance to hold your baby and offer to take photographs. Some families feel that this can keep their baby’s memory alive, and find it helpful to include pictures of the baby with other family photos and talk about them often.

We have support and information for parents who have suffered a neonatal loss here

Who can help if you are bereaved

Support is available in many different forms, including publications, online message boards, volunteer befriending services, telephone support lines (including the Tommy's freephone line: 0800 0147 800) and local support groups. You can use whichever elements you feel most comfortable with, alongside support from your healthcare team. 

In memory pages

Setting up an In memory page for your baby enables you to raise money for research into premature birth, which aims to prevent other families going through your experience.

Set up an In memory page for your baby

Review dates

Last reviewed: 1 April, 2017
Next review: 1 April, 2020