Ways to Comfort Parents After a Stillbirth
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
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A stillbirth occurs every 16 seconds. This means that approximately two million babies are born stillborn each year. The majority of these deaths could have been prevented with quality care provided during pregnancy and at the time of birth, adding to the tragedy. Beyond these terrible losses, the psychological and financial consequences are serious and long-lasting for women, families, and society. Important information about stillbirths:
Over the past 20 years, 48 million babies have been stillborn
Stillbirth is a huge burden globally as 1 in 72 births is a stillbirth
The majority of stillbirths occur in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia
More than 40% of stillbirths occur during labor
The majority of stillbirths are preventable with quality care during pregnancy and at the time of birth
If current trends continue, 20 million stillbirths will occur by 2030 – and the COVID-19 pandemic could make the situation worse.
What Is a Stillbirth?
Stillbirth is defined as the birth of an infant without signs of life from a certain threshold generally determined by the gestational age (time elapsed between conception and birth).
A stillbirth occurs when the baby dies after 20 weeks of gestation but before delivery. Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage is defined as fetal death that occurs before 20 weeks. The frequency of stillbirth is about five in every thousand pregnancies. Stillbirths are classified into one of three categories:
Early stillbirth (fetal death between 20 and 27 weeks of pregnancy)
Intermediate stillbirth (fetal death between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy)
Late stillbirth (fetal death at 37 weeks gestation or later)
What Are the Psychological Consequences of Stillbirth on Mothers and Families?
Most women, when need to cope with depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders caused by stillbirth, may be long-lasting. Women who have given birth to a stillborn baby sometimes avoid social activities and isolate themselves, which worsens short- and long-term depressive symptoms.
The negative psychological consequences are still present in subsequent pregnancies or even after the birth of a healthy child. All this alters how mother and father experience life and death.
How to Help Comfort a Parent That Experienced Stillbirth?
You and your partner will experience overwhelming grief at the death of your baby. As stillbirth often occurs without the appearance of any warning signs, you will go from joyful anticipation to utter desolation in no time. You may experience a range of emotions, from numbness to depression, denial, and anger. It is possible that each of you grieves differently, creating tension between you.
To cope, consider seeking professional advice or joining a group of parents who have suffered a similar loss. Within the group, you will be able to talk about your feelings to people who have experienced the same situation, which will make you feel less alone.
Share in Their Love for the Baby
It's never a bad idea to say good words about the stillbirth baby; it goes a long way in helping to comfort grieving parents. Just like every parent, grieving parents value kind words about their baby. This is even more evident in parents that have named their babies. They show a certain level of pride when you mention the baby's name.
Remember Important Dates
The comforting doesn't end after the burial of the baby. You must try to always show up for the parents on important dates. Such dates could be the anniversary of the stillbirth or other important holidays. There's a high chance that such dates evoke some sad memories for the parents, and it will be pretty helpful to have someone in their corner comforting them.
Asides from the birthday or anniversary, parents can feel the gap whenever there's an important holiday. Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving come to mind; pay close attention to them on such family reunion holidays.
Avoid Unnecessary Questions
This is vital when comforting parents who have just experienced stillbirth. Some questions are quite sensitive, and they could affect the emotional balance of the parents. Such questions must be avoided in comforting these parents.
If you're unsure which questions to avoid, you could always consult with people with vast knowledge on such matters. It wouldn't be a bad idea to mention the processes leading to the stillbirth itself.
Mementos for the Baby
You could never go wrong with Mementos as they bring a different feeling entirely. If the parents have ever shared images or items belonging to their departed baby, you could create mementos from those items. The parents can see and touch these remembrance items whenever they need to feel a connection with the departed baby.
Mementos can come in any form, and you must ensure that you opt for an option that will save the baby's memory.
Personalized boxes: There's a chance that the parent will want to keep some items belonging to the baby. Such things as blankets and socks could fall into this category. A noble idea for remembrance is to get a personalized box to store these items. You could always buy or create a personalized box to store these items.
Cremation jewelry: if you're looking for the perfect memento, cremation jewelry is exactly what you're looking for. This remembrance jewelry is crafted using the ashes of the stillborn baby. It helps to forge an eternal bond that no other memento item can compete with. There are many cremation jewelries to choose from: rings, earrings, bracelets, and pendants.
How Does a Cremation Diamond Create an Eternal Bond?
Cremation diamond is formed via a process that recreates the environment of the formation of natural diamonds. Carbon from the body of the stillbirth is retrieved through a cremation process. The carbon is subsequently purified to ensure it attains optimal properties.
Subsequently, the carbon is subjected to a high-pressure, high-temperature environment (HPHT). This step transforms the carbon atoms from hair/ashes into a genuine diamond. A cremation diamond forms an eternal bond because it is directly created from the remains of the departed baby. Whether it's their hair or ashes from their body, the person continues to live on through this eternal keepsake.
Cremation Diamond As a Gift to Help Comfort Grieving Stillbirth Parent
Cremation diamonds can be a good source of hope and succor for a parent who experiences stillbirth. The diamond created from their baby's remains makes it a perfect remembrance item. Also, the diamond can be customized to their favorite color while encrusting their names on the unique piece.
Cost of Cremation Diamond for Comforting Parents
These diamonds come at relatively affordable prices and are certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (International Gemological Institute). LONITÉ™ offers remembrance cremation diamonds for prices starting at $1400. The formation of a diamond takes about 6 to 18 months. These diamonds can stand the test of time and be passed from generation to generation.
One of the best ways to help them overcome their loss is by offering them an eternal keepsake. This keepsake will help them connect with their baby whenever they want. The cremation diamond jewelry is particularly helpful as it helps keep the memory close to the heart, and they can wear it wherever they go.