Experiencing the Loss of a Baby

Losing a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or perinatal death is a devastating type of child loss with unique challenges. In addition to losing your future with your baby, parents have few memories of the child to carry into their own lives.

After a baby’s death, parents may leave a hospital or clinic and go home to a prepared but unused nursery. Many parents find that unpressured time spent with the deceased baby in the hospital, photos taken, and keepsakes such as blankets and baby caps are especially meaningful.

Couples may feel under-supported after losing a baby and get unhelpful comments about the loss being “for the best.” Some people might urge the couple to have another pregnancy or be grateful for other children. These comments diminish the individuality and love for the child who died.

Men & Women: Experiencing Grief Differently

While every couple is different, it’s not uncommon for men and women to grieve the loss of a baby differently.

Mothers may experience hormonal upheavals, shock and numbness, and physical pain for several weeks following the death of baby. Women might also:

  • share feelings more easily,
  • talk more and with more people,
  • show emotions more readily,
  • and experience emotion with greater intensity.

Women may also be more willing to ask for help, especially when high quality support is available. Some women report having a stronger bond with the baby who has passed.

Men may talk less and use distraction as a way to cope. They may hide or suppress their emotions to be strong or to protect baby’s mother.

Men are more likely to grieve alone

and strive to retain independence and masculinity. Finally, men may feel like they have less opportunity for a physical connection with the baby.

Coping With Relationship Changes

As with all losses, changes in relationships are inevitable. For bereaved parents, losing a baby may place unique stress on your relationship. For couples that have lost a baby:

  • Recognize that you both are in a lot of pain.
  • Know that you may show your pain and feelings in different ways.
  • Be patient and caring with each other.
  • Try to keep talking about your thoughts and feelings. Don’t shut each other out.
  • Allow yourself to grieve.
  • Expect a variety of emotions with fluctuating intensity.
  • Talk about how you want to remember your baby.
  • Obtain grief support within the relationship AND outside the relationship.

Special Resources For Parents Who Have Lost a Baby

Support Groups

We offer a variety of support groups to parents who have lost a baby. Support group sessions usually last eight weeks.

Please call 801-585-9522 for information on dates and locations.

Share: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support is a volunteer support program

providing information and care to parents who have lost a pregnancy or infant.

Utah Share can be reached at 801-544-1159.