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Recovering after a stillbirth

Like any birth your body needs time to recover afterwards. This can be very difficult when your baby has died.

Your hormones react as they would to any birth, and you may find your breasts fill with milk. If this happens and it is upsetting you, talk to your GP, obstetrician or midwife.

You may have soreness around your vagina. Like any birth you may have bleeding and some discomfort for a few days.

Support after the birth

Many maternity hospitals have a system in place to provide bereavement care. The HSE has developed standards for bereavement care after pregnancy loss.

Your GP, midwife and obstetrician will support you during your physical and emotional recovery.

Your maternity hospital may offer additional supports such as:

  • chaplaincy or pastoral care
  • clinical midwife specialist in bereavement and loss

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss in Ireland website has information and advice for parents.

When to get medical help after a stillbirth

Call your GP or maternity unit immediately if you have any of the following:

  • smelly vaginal discharge
  • heavy bleeding from your vagina, especially if there are clots
  • fever
  • feel unwell
  • pain in your tummy, especially if it is severe or not settling
  • pain, redness or swelling in your legs, especially in the calf area
  • chest pain, cough, coughing up blood or shortness of breath

Page last reviewed: 28/03/2019
Next review due: 28/03/2022