No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.
If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.
What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?
If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.
Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.
When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.
Areas of the funeral:
- Notifying people of the service
- Readings, Poems or Stories
- If a priest or pastor will be present
- Does the baby need to be baptised
- Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
- Burial Clothes
- Container or urn for ashes
- Headstone or marker
- Obituary in paper
- Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
- Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
- Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
- Choosing an outfit for the baby
- Donating organs
Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the parents, later triggering thoughts of their baby.
Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.
Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.
Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors.
These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.
Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.
Peace Love and Hugs