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Archive for February, 2010

 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
  • Location
  • Music
  • 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.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

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

Diana

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If bereaved parents who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss were to rename the title, what would it be? The new title would have to respect all religions and cultural beliefs.

The term “pregnancy and infant loss” has been the universal words spoken if a woman had a miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, stillbirth or a baby who died of SIDS (and others).

Are the babies lost or do we know where they are?

The same goes with adults. Most people would say, “loss of loved one.” I have not ran across people who are offended by these terms after a family member has died. So why are bereaved parents annoyed at these words.

As I am a bereaved mother and there is much to be annoyed at, but not those words. I know in my heart I will see all the deceased babies again. They are not lost, we are.

If we could change these terms, I suppose my vote would be, ” pregnancy and infant butterflies.” We all know about the amazing transformation of the caterpillar and all the wonderful poems related to the, “change.”

Does this term need to be changed?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana

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        First Candle has great news regarding SIDS.                                      
Dear Friends of First Candle,It is with great pride and excitement that we share with you today news of a new study out of the SIDS Center of Excellence at Children’s Hospital Boston, led by Harvard researcher Dr. Hannah Kinney, regarding another breakthrough in SIDS research!The findings from the study indicate we are closing in on a defect in the brainstem related to serotonin as a likely cause for SIDS. This recent study built on the research team’s 2006 study that identified potential problems with serotonin and serotonin receptor binding in the brainstems of babies who die of SIDS. The results of the study are based on a comparison of brainstem samples from infants dying of SIDS to brainstems of infants dying from other, known causes. The findings will be published in the February 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The results are compelling and send a strong message to parents on importance of good prenatal care and safe sleep in protecting babies from SIDS, the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age.

For those that would like further information, please refer to First Candle’s press release, the press release out of Harvard and the full text of the article.

  • There will be significant media coverage of the event beginning with the nightly news programs this evening and the Today Show Wednesday morning. Link to a complete listing of coverage.
  • Our friends at Scripps Howard News Service have been instrumental in bringing the issue of sudden infant deaths in America to the forefront of infant mortality issues. Link to this article.

We would also like to recognize Dr. Henry Krous of the SIDS/SUDC research project at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Critical to Dr. Kinney’s work is the availability of tissue samples. Dr. Krous’ is the only project currently collecting tissue samples for research purposes

First Candle has been nationally recognized as key supporters of these projects throughout the past 20 years, and we would like to thank you, our many supporters, for the role you have played in this success; we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.

We would like to close with a call to action.

It is critical that we continue to move this research forward to find out what causes this defect, identify babies at risk and develop preventive treatments for the serotonin deficit.

  • Please consider making a donation to SIDS research through First Candle. We are happy to direct your dollars to either of these worthy projects.
  • We will keep you apprised of advocacy efforts and other ways you can help us save babies’ lives.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support of our efforts – in the belief that every baby should live.

Warm regards,

The board and staff of First Candle

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana

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