What are four ways you can help yourself begin to heal from your baby’s death?
- Participate in bereavement rituals at the time of baby’s death, such as dressing baby, getting hand and footprints, a lock of hair to keep.
- Ask your NICU healthcare team if you can have a conference about a month after your baby’s death to review all the information and circumstances surrounding baby’s death, so you have a clear picture of what happened.
- Allow others to do things for you, like provide meals or childcare, while you take some time for yourself.
- Join a parent support group for bereaved parents, considering an online group if there isn’t a group that meets in your community.
Recommendations for Palliative and Bereavement Care: Read just the recommendations from the Workgroup on Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents, or read the full article from the December, 2015 Supplement to Journal of Perinatology.
Bereavement Interventions for Parents: This contains a list of things you can do at the time your baby passes away, whether you are on Labor & Delivery or in the NICU.
Resources for Bereaved Parents from NHH: Compiled by NICU Helping Hands.
Teardrops and Milkdrops: Many mothers have found milk donation to be a tool to help them heal emotionally after the death of their baby. This brochure was created by the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin as a means of answering basic questions about lactation when bereaved, in particular, what options are available to either eliminate breast milk or donate it to a milk bank in order to help others. To find out about donating, contact your non-profit HMBANA milk bank.
Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care: The site has resources for Parents, including a listing of programs in the U.S. and around the world.
Video about Comfort Care: This video, from New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, gives a good overview about how and why comfort care can be provided to babies with life-limiting conditions.
Bereaved Parents’ Resources at griefnet.org
Compassionate Friends: Supporting Family After a Child Dies
Coping With Loss During Pregnancy or Soon After Birth, on the website of zerotothree.org.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – remembrance photography.
Remembering Our Babies October 15th: The official site of pregnancy and infant loss day
Are you interested in having someone speak to your staff, organization, or network about best practices in palliative and bereavement care? Click on the icon to go to our Speaker’s Bureau page to learn more about these speakers.
Erika Goyer, National Perinatal Association, family advocate and bereaved parent
Sue Hall, MD, neonatologist
Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, nurse
Donna Ryan, DNP, RNC-NIC, nurse
Keira Sorrells, Founder and Executive Director, Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation and Preemie Parent Alliance