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Some tips

Supporting bereaved parents

Here are some tips that will help you understand what parents need and how to better support them as they move through grief.

  • Avoid pretending that nothing has happened
    If you ignore the ordeal they’re experiencing, parents may feel that their baby is being forgotten or that their grief is being minimized. Most people need to talk about what happened and express their suffering, but they may not want to disturb anyone or “bring anyone down.”
  • Respect the parents in the ways they are mourning
    Grief will manifest differently in each person. It is important not to judge or want to change anything about their process of mourning. They are going through it at their own pace and in their own way. And give as much importance to the father’s emotions as you do to the mother’s because his emotions are often overlooked or underestimated.
  • Offer support regularly
    This situation plunges parents into a state where it becomes very difficult for them to think, analyze and prioritize their needs. As a result, parents may not be able to ask for help, which is why it is important to follow up offers of help with concrete support. There are many ways you can support them, however. Sometimes being a good listener can ease their suffering. Sometimes just knowing that you are thinking about them and willing to spend time with them or do things for them can help. So do not hesitate to call them from time to time and leave a message if they do not answer to let them know that you are available if they wish.
  • Do not expect to find the friend, son, daughter, sister, brother you knew, because this ordeal will change them forever
    Parents will forever be marked by the death of their baby. The loss will leave an indelible imprint that they will have to learn to carry. Their vision of the world will change and their personality might as well. Welcome this transformation and listen to their new needs.
  • Give them time
    Moving through grief takes time and is cyclical – the suffering can start to fade only to rear its head again, sometimes with even more ferocity. Be patient and stay confident that one day they will be better. When they are ready, they will experience the small joys of life again.

Video

Perinatal bereavement and loved ones

Questions addressed in this video:

  • Why is the intensity of perinatal mourning sometimes misunderstood?
  • Why do loved ones often avoid talking about the loss of the baby?
  • How do you continue on with happy events while respecting the mourning of parents?
  • What advice can you give to grieving grandparents?

Rituals and loved ones

Questions addressed in this video:

  • What is the importance of rituals for those around you?
  • How does a ceremony help loved ones appreciate the full weight of the baby’s death?
  • Some say it’s excessive to do a ritual for a baby who has not lived. What do you think?
  • Parents often express the fear that their baby will be forgotten. What can loved ones do?

About this page
Updated on 12/10/2019
Created on 11/8/2019
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