Coping with the death of your baby
Grief is all the feelings you have when someone close to you dies. When your baby dies during pregnancy or after birth, you may feel sad, angry, confused or alone. You may wonder why this happened and if you can ever get past the loss. At times, your feelings may seem more than you can handle. Learning about grief can help you cope with your loss and get ready to think about the future.
Everyone grieves in his own way. You and your partner may grieve differently—there’s no right or wrong way or right amount of time to grieve. Telling each other how you feel can help you understand what you both need.
As you work through your grief, take care of yourself physically and emotionally. It’s OK to ask for help when you need it. You may find it hard to deal with family, friends and coworkers as you grieve. They want to help, but they may not know exactly what to say or do.
You and your family can find special ways to remember your baby. Keeping a memory box or planning a memorial activity can help you celebrate and honor your baby. These things can help you make a place in your heart and mind for your baby and begin to heal your loss.
Our information for grieving families can help you deal with your loss. Order our booklets: From Hurt to Healing, When you Want to Try Again and What Can You Do. And visit Share Your Story®, our online community where families who have lost a baby can talk to and comfort each other. Sharing your family’s story may ease your pain and help you heal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if you’re clinically depressed?
Some grieving parents may show signs of depression. This is a medical condition in which a person has strong feelings of sadness that last for a long time. If you’re depressed, you may need special treatment from a health care provider.
Some signs that you may be depressed include:
- Having little interest in usual activities or hobbies
- Feeling tired all the time
- Gaining or losing weight
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Thinking about suicide or death
If you think you may have depression, talk to your health care provider. Your provider can help treat your depression.
How long does grief last?
There’s no right amount of time to grieve. It takes as long as it takes. You may feel better in a few weeks or months. Or it may take longer. If you feel like your grief is lasting longer than it should, talk to your health care provider.