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- » When a baby dies before labour begins
- » How you might feel
- » Talk to someone
- » Grief and children
- » Telling your family and friends
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- » A ceremony for your baby
- » Deciding about a post mortem
- » Deciding about a funeral
- » Leaving hospital - going home
- » Taking your baby home
- » Postnatal check-up
- » Certificates and registration
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- » Getting a copy of your medical notes
- » Mainly for fathers
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- » Returning to work
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Telling your family and friends
“ Then we had to tell our family. How on earth can you tell your loved ones such awful news...?” Mother
One of the loneliest and most painful tasks, which often falls to partners, is to phone family members and friends to break the sad news. They are usually eagerly awaiting a phone call and are ready with questions about the baby’s sex, name and weight. You could start with, “I am afraid I have bad news”. This can help to set the tone of the call and may reduce the number of inappropriate questions. Of course, family members and friends are likely to be shocked and may not know what to say. Some parents say that they end up supporting the
people who should be supporting them.
Try not to feel that you have to tell everyone immediately. Also, try not to feel that you have to answer everyone’s questions. Only say as much as you feel able to. You could follow up your calls with an email giving more information about what has happened. This allows you to keep calls short and can give people time to compose a more thoughtful response.
“ For more distant people and my business I did send emails. Amazingly, because people have ‘time’ to be shocked and compose a reply, some of the most touching comments came from these emails.” Father
You may want to ask someone close to you to phone other people on your behalf and let them know what has happened. Tell this person what you would like them to say, including whether and how you want other people to contact you in the first few days. For example, you might prefer people to send cards or emails rather than phone.