We've launched a new range of sympathy cards to send to mothers, fathers and their partners whose baby has died to let them know you're thinking of them.
Talking about the death of a baby can feel very difficult but finding the right words at the right time can really help to support bereaved parents or families when they need it most. No one grieving after the death of their baby should have to do so in isolation.
A simple card goes a long way to letting parents know they are not alone.
The cards come in a range of simple, beautiful modern designs including choices for a baby boy, girl, precious baby or babies.
You can buy your cards from the Sands online shop and all profits will help support our work supporting the bereaved, improving care and saving babies' lives.
There are also designs for Mother's Day (14 March) and Father's Day (20 June), plus Rainbow Mama or Papa cards and designs featuring our Love You to the Moon and Back motif.
What to write in a sympathy card
Many people simply don’t know what to say when a baby has died but saying nothing can leave grieving parents feeling isolated.
In thinking about when to send a card, certain dates and the days leading up to them may be particularly difficult; for example, the anniversary of their baby’s due date or the day they died. Many bereaved parents feel particularly sad before or during special days such as Mother’s Day.
If the parents have named their baby, and they would like people to use their baby’s name, it is important that you do this as well. Using their baby’s name is an important acknowledgement for many parents.
Do say how sorry you are to hear that their baby has died. Many people focus on supporting the birth mother but please remember to mention fathers and partners in your message.
- Jen Coates, Director of Volunteering and Bereavement Support
Suggestions for what to write in a sympathy card
Knowing what to write is hard but remember that the most important thing is to acknowledge what has happened.
If you are closer to the person whose baby died you can of course write a more personal heartfelt message.
People really appreciate receiving a card and knowing that you’re thinking about them so try not to worry about making the words perfect.
Here are some examples that you may find helpful. You can combine and adapt the wording depending on the situation.
If their baby has been given a name do use it, otherwise you can simply refer to ‘your baby’ or perhaps a nickname that the mother used during her pregnancy.
Thinking of you on your baby’s (name) due date/birthday
Thinking of you especially on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day this year
I was so very sorry to hear that your baby/baby NAME died and wanted you to know I’m thinking of you and holding you/you all in my thoughts
So very sorry to hear about your baby/baby NAME
I’d love to hear about your baby/baby NAME sometime if you’d like to talk about him/her.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with cooking a meal/doing some shopping/walking the dog/looking after (name of other children)
All the cards and other Sands products are available to order at shop-sands.org.uk/en/products/cards
Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) is here to support anyone affected by the death of a baby. Sands’ free Helpline is available on 0808 164 3332 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 6-9pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings. You can also email email@example.com for support. www.sands.org.uk/support