21 Ways to Help Parents Who Have Experienced Pregnancy and Infant Loss

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As I reflect on the fact that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness/Remembrance Day I can’t help but to think about all of our family, friends and loved ones who have been so supportive of us through our experience. Pregnancy and infant loss truly is “an indescribable journey of survival.” While the world goes on, parents who have endured pregnancy and infant loss constantly think about what could have been and what should be in their lives.

Sometimes people want to help or offer an encouraging word for this specific group of parents but since they aren’t quite sure what to do or what to say, they go with the option of saying and doing nothing. And that isn’t always helpful either. So, if you have a loved one or a friend who has or who currently is walking through the journey of child loss, here are some very tangible things that you can do to be of support.

  1. Ask them how they’re doing.
  2. Say their child’s name.
  3. Call them or text them and let them know you’re thinking about them.
  4. Pray for them and pray with them.
  5. Give them a hug.
  6. Give them the freedom to talk about their experience.
  7. Give them the freedom to not want to talk about their experience.
  8. Don’t shun them for wanting to share their experience when someone asks them if they have children.
  9. Don’t expect them to act exactly like another family who has experienced loss. Everyone’s experience is different.
  10. Find something that they like doing and treat them to whatever that is.
  11. Offer to go with them to visit their child’s gravesite.
  12. Don’t mock them or make fun of them or their experience.
  13. Don’t ostracize them. Still invite them to family functions. Let them decide if they are going to come or not.
  14. Don’t tell them to: “just get over it.”
  15. Offer to do something with them to celebrate their child’s life or the anniversary of their death.
  16. Send them a note of encouragement or a card through the mail.
  17. Make dinner or dessert for them.
  18. Offer to babysit their living children so they can have a night out to themselves.
  19. Connect them with other families who you know have walked through pregnancy and infant loss.
  20. Offer to help them find a way to honor our child.
  21. Buy a small item with their child’s name on it, or something that was important to their child or meaningful to their experience and give it to them.

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