Supporting a Friend or Loved One Through Pregnancy and Baby Loss

Baby Loss Awareness Week is a time to come together and offer support to those affected by pregnancy and baby loss. This year, the focus has been on the isolation many people feel after pregnancy and baby loss, which this year has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 and changes to the access for care and support.

So this year, more than ever, we want to come together to offer our support to those who need it, so they may not feel so alone.

There are many feelings that people experience after loss; grief, isolation, anger, guilt, despair, and loss of hope and dreams. But there are also similar ways in which we can offer support, some will be in common with others, some will be unique to an individual or family.

The Babipur Community

Our wonderful community has come together to share their thoughts and feelings about what helped them when times were tough.

Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this blog.

Let’s break the silence together.

I want to hear my baby’s name 

Using my baby’s name doesn’t upset me, ignoring him does. He will always be a part of our family…He’ll always be my favourite what if.

Amy Glascott 

It takes time, but having the confidence to talk about your missing child and including them in conversation and special occasions helps. We speak our son’s name daily and all our friends aren’t afraid to mention him, or include him.

Lise Heelbeck 

I LOVE it when people include my daughter with my other children, because despite her not being here, she will always be part of our home and family and children. There’s a saying I really love…”not mentioning their baby in fear of reminding them that they died. They didn’t forget that they died but instead reminding them that they lived by saying their name is a beautiful thing”

Jasmine Hiller

What helped me was receiving photos from my grandma of her lighting her candle for her baby and mine.

Elizabeth Antins

Keep in touch, even when everyone else has moved on

It means a lot for someone to just drop a message and see how you are and mention your baby’s name” “it also means a lot when others remember their birthday or due date or other anniversaries. Just knowing your baby is not forgotten.

Hannah MacLellan Hackett

Just checking in I’d say is the biggest help, just being there, even if it’s just a text to say you’re thinking of them, not giving up when they don’t reply, however long that takes.

Lisa Walsh 

Listen, send texts with anything, ask questions, give people chance to talk.

Beckie Marie 

Offer help support, or just say sorry that’s awful, I’m here for whatever you need. Let the person who this has happened to have space to say what they need to say, if anything.

Hayley Alder 

That is something that helps, having someone who’s there and checking in for the long run, not just the first few weeks.

Kirsty Allen 

I have found people to be willing to listen and help. I’m really grateful but I’m not sure how for much longer this support will be available.

Emma Buxton 

Remember special dates 

Dates are so hard…forever sketched in your heart.

Becki Marie

As soon as you see those 2 lines it’s in your head you think at these times you will have your baby with you…the anxiety the build up can cause can make the actual day 100x worse.

Becky Green 

It also means a lot when others remember their birthday or due date or other anniversaries.

Hannah MacLellan Hackett

It would help for Friends and family to acknowledge my babies and my grief long after the initial pain of the loss, especially on mother’s days. No big gestures are needed, an extra long hug or a card etc.

Natasza Ann Lentner

Having a text from a friend on my baby’s due date meant the world.

Juliette Jet Warburton

Every loss should be acknowledged

Every loss, no matter how early, should be acknowledged. I’ve lost 3 all at the 6-7 week mark. The hospital didn’t offer any care at all, and everyone just expected me to move on cuz it wasn’t a ‘real’ baby’.

Nicola Humphreys

There is something indescribably painful about not knowing what they’d be like had they lived, who they’d look like and what their lives would be like, but just marking that they existed helps. Nazio Mo

Nazio Mo

There is no ‘At Least…”

At least you know you can get pregnant”, “at least you’ve got other children”, “at least it was early”, I could go on. Anything that starts at least invalidates your feelings and experience. Sometimes all you need to hear is “I’m sorry, that’s really awful.

Julia Langley 

I think my advice would be to avoid “at least…” statements…and just listen. If you don’t know what to say, that’s ok. Just acknowledging how awful it is and saying how sorry you are is huge.

Kate Hussey 

If they say they are grieving don’t dismiss their grief, even if you think it’ll help. Saying, “but at least…” dismisses their grief, just keep it simple. A simple “I’m sorry, would you like to talk about it / talk about them” is better than trying to fix them.

Natasza Ann Lentner

The worst thing you could say to anyone is ‘at least ‘ there is no at least. It sucks. Just be sad with the women and their partners. Be bitter with them if that’s what they need.

Lara Ward 

Make connections 

What helped me the most was being able to post/talk about it openly, and having others understand what I’d gone through and not have the fear of judgement, just knowing people were listening.

Rebecca Curtis 

My only advice for anyone going through this is to reach out when they’re ready, to a loved one, a friend, or a stranger online.

Jo Worrall 

I think unless you’ve been in that situation you can’t truly understand. You can try and empathise…I definitely found it easier to talk to people I didn’t know rather than friends.

Kim Pascoe 

Having other people voice how physically and emotionally intense it all is helped me to allow myself to grieve.

Vicki Flack 

What helped me was talking about it; finding out that I wasn’t alone.

Diana Lynn Loffredo

I found the Miscarriage Association private Facebook group really helpful and have since found Instagram community a great help.

Natasza Ann Lentner

Talking to someone who understands really helped me, my dear friend was going through infertility and baby loss with me, she was always there for me with open arms and open ears and I for her.

Liz Perry-Keene

I found that the more I spoke, the more others would open up, or even reach out to seek support as they went through the same. Helping others gives me a sense of reason.

Laura Davis 

It’s okay not to be okay

Most importantly you do you, and remember that it’s ok not to be OK. It’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to feel numb and it’s ok to cry.

Kim Pascoe 

When it’s your own baby it can feel like it’s ripping your entire world apart. Tearing up everything you thought you knew about life. Destroying your sense of self.

Frankie Brunker 

The thing that helped me was getting help. Going to counselling was the only way for me to get out of the pit of depression I fell into – it’s OK to not be OK, and what helps one person won’t work for everyone, but grief counselling is there for a reason and it really helped me get through it.

Tracey Moran 

The thing that helped me most was my counsellor saying that it’s ok to not be ok, it’s ok to grieve; I felt it was ‘one of those things’ as that’s what I was told in hospital and felt I should be ok by now. My counsellor pointed out if my mum had died or I’d had a child who died, nobody would be expecting me to be ok.

Samantha Davis 

I found that to start with I didn’t want people around me, giving me sympathy, doing the head tilt or just avoiding me, I just wanted to hide away, which was difficult as I still needed to do Mum duties which meant going out into the world and seeing people.

Clare Jones 

I lost a part of me that day that I’ll never get back and understanding that I’m never going to be that person again took me a long time. I’m still not fully there.

Kim Pascoe 

An acknowledgement that you can never be who you were before.

Lizzie Kirby 

It’s okay to ask 

I also always appreciated it when people were honest with me and just said I don’t know how to help you, what do you want? Because in the immediate aftermath of the second loss I didn’t want to cry, I wanted to be surrounded by people who know, and who could find ways to make me laugh. Vicki Flack 

Vicki Flack 

I wish that somebody would have acknowledged that sometimes they don’t know what to say, and that’s OK rather than silence.

Jasmine Hiller 

People don’t know what to say so just don’t say anything. I never knew you could be so lonely, despite being surrounded by people.

Laura Davis 

I really appreciated a friend who gave me a hug and said, “there is nothing I can say or do that will make this any better, but I’m here for you.

Juliette Jet Warburton

Listen and hear 

I’m here, I hear you, and any and all feelings are valid and true. Diana Lynn Loffredo

Diana Lynn Loffredo

Just listen to the person and let them talk to you about how they’re feeling without trying to make them feel better.

Kate Hussey 

I think the most important thing is talking to people who can just listen to you. I find the families who have also been through loss the most understanding, we all handle things differently but we have the loss of a beautiful child in common.

Rachel Badger 

Allow people to feel and don’t minimise it. Give them permission to feel whatever they need to and not beat themselves for the anger they feel. Ask them what they need and ask them if they need.

Gemma Meeson 

Grief isn’t a straight line.

Emma Buxton 

Support for partners and siblings 

Don’t forget about other children in the family who will be grieving the loss of a little brother or sister.

Nicola Simpson 

In our case we had 8 & 6 year olds when the twins died. We still had to get up everyday, feed them, get them to school etc. At the time I couldn’t eat due to the grief and having to plan and prepare food was awful, I felt so sick. If family had turned up with meals and stuff I would have been so grateful but I think people are scared to approach you.

Lizzie Kirby 

So needed is a place for dads to talk. My OH had nobody, his family said they didn’t know what to say, so they did nothing. I want to scream at them, I want to say…be the person who stands up for the one falling apart, because they need you more than you will ever know.

Beckie Marie 

Partners need support as well, they have also lost a child but people seem to think it doesn’t affect them as deeply or that they should be upset.

Bellie Bug

Kindness is everything 

I felt like I had failed my babies, been too ungrateful for the older two, and was being punished. I hated my body and lost all confidence in every part of my own abilities (including at work) at the same time. It took me so long to recover the second time. Just kindness is needed for a long time afterwards.

Beth Holder 

When the time comes for another baby, the nicest thing a friend said to me was “how are you feeling third time round”. It was so comforting that she respected my first baby. You never forget that the ones lost existed so it means so much when others remember them too. Fiona Alison Leask 

Fiona Alison Leask 

Thank you to every kind person out there, it will mean a lot to the bereaved family that you are supporting. Miriam Walters 

Miriam Walters 

We tried for a third baby for 9 years and lost count of the amount of family and friends that kept asking when we were having another.

Nicola Humphreys

Remember in your own way  

After my first miscarriage, I brought this ring, a moonstone for my baby in the sky, this helped me “hold my baby” then after my second, I got a tattoo on my thumb of 2 hearts, one for each of my girls.

Anna Evans 

We planted a tree that bore a solitary plum this year. I celebrated baby’s due date with a cake, some bubbles and planted Broad beans with my son, made it a really fun day and cried a bit too.

Juliette Jet Warburton

I made cuddle pillows for very tiny babies like my Ethan who was born at 19wks weighing 220g…I have written about my experience and had 2 of my stories published in an online babyloss magazine which I am incredibly proud of.

Lise Heelbeck 

We’ve always kept her memory alive, we speak about her, whenever they see a butterfly they’ll always say “look mum there’s Priya”. We get birthday cakes on her birthday. I’ve had 2 children since she died, and they will grow up knowing all about her.

Jasmine Hiller

Wave of Light

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog post. Your words are powerful and so valued.

Join us in Babipur Hangout on Thursday 15th October at 7pm for the Wave of Light to light a candle with bereaved parents, families, and friends all around the globe in memory of all babies who died too soon.

Useful resources: 


Baby Loss Awareness Week


The Miscarriage Association

You can read Janes’ story here: Baby Loss Awareness Week: Janes Story

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