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Saying goodbye to your baby after stillbirth

Time

If you choose to see and hold your baby, you will be allowed as much time as you need.

You and your partner may wish to spend some time alone with your baby. Many parents like to choose a name for their baby.

Photos and other memories

If you would like to take photos, you will be given time to do this.

Your midwife will often talk to you about other ways to preserve your baby’s memory. Sometimes imprints of your baby’s handprints and footprints can be taken. Others include a lock of hair and your baby’s hospital ID band.

These mementos are loved by some parents, but are not for everyone. Don’t ever feel pressured into doing something that you do not feel is right for you.

You will not get another chance to assemble these mementos. You may want these items in the future. You can ask your midwife to put these items away safely until you are ready to look at them.

Funeral

Take time deciding if you want a funeral or some way of saying goodbye to your baby.

Many hospitals have remembrance services for all babies who die in pregnancy or soon after birth. Or you may wish to organise your own funeral ceremony. You can wait until you have recovered from the birth and feel strong enough to attend.

If you do choose to have a funeral, you may wish to place something in the coffin with your baby. If you have other children they may like to draw a picture to put in the coffin.

Bereavement support

Your midwife will talk to you about registering your baby’s birth. Bereavement support should be offered to you and your partner. Many maternity hospitals have midwives who specialise in supporting bereaved parents.

page last reviewed: 28/03/2019
next review due: 28/03/2022