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Patients & Families

What to Do for Yourself After the Loss of a Baby

Here are some suggestions for parents coping with the loss of a baby, from support group leaders and parents who have experienced similar losses.

Be Human. Admit when you feel lonely or in pain. Allow yourself to ask for help, and accept it when family and friends reach out to you. If necessary, contact a local support group for grieving parents.

Communicate. Talk about your baby and your feelings with your partner, family, friends, and others who want to support you.

Read. Many books, articles and poems, written by grieving parents and those who care for them, can provide comfort and understanding, and help you feel that you are not alone.

Write. Record your thoughts in a diary or journal. Write letters, notes, or poems to or about your child.

See Your Doctor. Because you body may also respond to grief, schedule an appointment for a physical examination about four months after experiencing a loss.

Stay Stable. Wait at least a year before making any major job or relationship changes. Stick with things and places that are familiar and comfortable. And don’t let others talk you into new and different things that might make you feel anxious or uncertain.

Lean on your Faith. Care for your spirit, by renewing ties with a faith group, or by setting aside time for quiet reflection.

Eat Well. Eat a balanced diet that includes milk, protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Avoid junk food.

Stay Hydrated. Drink at least 8 glasses of liquids (juice, water, or soda) each day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Exercise. Do something active every day. Even a walk around the block can be helpful.

Rest. Avoid increased work activity. You are already working hard at coping with your grief. Maintain regular rest patterns, even if you are unable to sleep. Simply lying down and closing your eyes can boost your energy.