Infant loss is a devastating experience for any parent to go through. It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that your child is no longer with you, and the healing process can be long and difficult. If you have experienced a stillbirth, there are resources available to help you through this difficult time. Here, we discuss some of the most common issues that parents experience after a stillbirth, and offer tips on how to deal with them.
What is Stillbirth?
It is the tragic loss of a baby before birth, often due to some type of medical problem. In the U.S, it affects 1 in 250 births, and usually occurs between 15 and 20 weeks after conception. There are many different ways to cope with it, and each person may experience grief in a different way.
The first step is to get support from those who care about you. Talk to your family and friends about what has happened; they may be able to offer words of comfort or practical help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking professional counseling. A counselor can help you process your emotions and explore your thoughts and feelings after the loss of a child.
If your baby was born prematurely or had some other health problem, there are resources available for you as well. Premature babies are at especially high risk for stillbirth, so if your baby was born early or has a medical condition, make sure you talk to your doctor or midwife about options for after-care. The NSA provides information on premature births and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). PBC includes things like physical therapy for parents who were physically impaired during the pregnancy or delivery, financial assistance for new green baby equipment for home use, and support groups for parents of preterm babies.
No matter how coping mechanisms you choose, it’s important to remember that healing requires time and patience.
Bereavement after a Stillbirth
There are many ways to cope with the grief that comes after it. Most people feel shock and sadness at first, but as time goes on they may develop feelings of denial, anger, guilt, or emptiness. It is important to Talk about your feelings and find support from friends, family, or professionals.
1. Deal With Shock And Sadness: The first step is to deal with the shock and sadness that you are feeling. Remember that it is normal to be upset and sad to lose your child, and there is no need to keep your feelings bottled up. Talk about what you are feeling with friends, family members, or professional counselors. This can help you process your emotions and cope better.
2. Seek Support From Friends And Family: The best way to deal with a baby loss is to have support from friends and family members who care about you. Ask them for their help in coping with your emotions, and let them know how they can support you during this difficult time. Letting others know how you are feeling will also help reduce the stigma associated with it.
3. Seek Professional Counseling: If you feel like you need more support than your friends or family can provide, consider seeking professional counseling. A counselor can offer guidance on how to cope with your emotions, as well as provide resources for dealing with the aftermath.
4. Bereavement cradle: It plays an instrumental role in overcoming the adverse loss of a child. Bereavement cradle for parents are designed to help them get over the painful experience of life.
Causes of Stillbirth
There are many possible causes of stillbirth. It may occur when the baby does not arrive alive after 20 weeks gestation, or when the baby dies within minutes or hours after birth. In some cases, there is no known cause. It can be a very difficult experience for parents and families.
Effects of Stillbirth
It is a tragic event that can leave parents feeling shattered and heartbroken. It can have a multitude of effects on both mother and child, which can take months or even years to heal.
1. Mental Health – Many parents experience intense feelings of grief and sadness after this tragic event, which can lead to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. It’s important to seek professional help if you’re struggling with these symptoms.
2. Physiological Effects – A stillborn baby can suffer from physical effects such as breathing problems, low blood pressure, jaundice, and more. These effects may take weeks or even months to disappear, so it’s important not to hesitate in seeking medical attention if you notice anything unusual.
3. Relationship Issues – It can cause significant strain on relationships between parents and/or siblings of the baby. Depending on the relationship dynamics before the loss, this strain may manifest in different ways. If you’re struggling with any relationship issues after this adverse event, it’s important to reach out for help.
4. Emotional Trauma – It is an incredibly traumatic event that can leave parents feeling emotionally damaged for months or even years afterwards. This emotional trauma can lead to long-term psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Tips for Coping After a Stillbirth
If you have recently experienced the loss of an infant stillborn, here are some tips to help you through this difficult time:
1. Talk to someone. It can be helpful to talk about your experience with someone who will listen and support you. Talking to a therapist or counselor may be beneficial, too.
2. Remember that everyone experiences grief differently. Don’t try to re-create the experience with another person; instead, allow yourself to grieve in your own way and at your own pace.
3. Get plenty of rest and exercise. Both physically and emotionally, taking care of yourself is key during this time.
4. Try not to focus on the negative aspects of your experience (such as what could have been). Instead, focus on the positive memories of your baby and those close to you who supported you during this difficult time.