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Stillbirths: What Support is There?
There seems nothing more heartbreaking than carrying a child only to find that their heart had stopped beating before birth. It is extremely difficult to discover the direct cause of many stillbirth deaths, therefore leaving many traumatised parents confused and unsure of how to move on from the experience, as no closure seems to be offered at the time spent in hospital with the child. There are around 4,000 stillbirths in the UK every year, so what support is there for parents who are in grief of their child?
Counselling is directly offered after the experience of a stillbirth, and is primarily used to help parents with their feelings of confusion, sadness and anxiety over the loss of their child. Counselling can also be offered to other family members who also felt affected by the death of the child, as grief does not stop with the parents. Like with many other devastating experiences, many support groups are available for people suffering, and these types of groups are usually founded and run by parents who have also been through the same experiences and losses as those who join for support.
Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. The charity can be contacted on 02074365881 or can be emailed on email@example.com. The charity also conducts research into funding the research behind discovering the cause of stillbirths.
Support in your Local Area
There will also be help and support services in your local area, which will also deal with general bereavement issues. However local stillbirth support groups will be available, often recommended when at hospital, and are in many cases run by midwives who have dealt with and seen parents through stillbirths.
Techniques for Coping
There are many techniques that can be used when dealing with the grief of a stillbirth, including recognizing the death of your baby early on, but spending some precious moments with your child after birth, by taking photos, hand prints and keeping a lock of their hair, to recognize that the birth was not just a traumatic experience, but that time can be spent enjoying the moment of birth. Also many recommend that memorial gardens and remembrance services can help parents by reminding them how brave they were while facing stillbirths and can help to honour their child.
Long Term Affects?
The long term affects of stillbirths can often be depression and post traumatic stress disorder, which often prevents parents from moving on and dealing with the unfortunate situation that they were placed in. Of course counselling and support groups can help with this, but often the best thing to do is to remember that stillbirths are not the parents fault, and that they will be able to healthily conceive later in the future once they have dealt with the loss of their previous child.
Often the best thing to do straight after a stillbirth is to talk in detail with your doctor and with your partner, and truly understand your options and how you will be most likely to deal with the pain of loss.
This article has been written by Rhian who is interested in all things pregnancy. If you click here you can find various information on pregnancy and coping with issues throughout the 9 months.