When someone goes through pregnancy or baby loss, it can be a very difficult experience which can make them feel isolated and alone without the right support. If you are a bereaved parent, please remember that you are not alone and that we are always here for you

Our Finding the Words campaign is part of our aim to break the silence around pregnancy loss and baby death.

Bereaved parents tell us that when friends, family members and colleagues reach out to them, it lets them know that they aren't alone in their grief. But we know that talking to someone about pregnancy loss or the death of their baby can sometimes feel difficult, or you might be worried about saying the wrong thing.

Together, we can help everyone find the words to talk about pregnancy and baby loss. Check out our list of ways you can start a conversation sensitively around baby loss and practical ways that you can support someone.

I'm so sorry, I don't know what to say but wanted to say something

Saying something is better than not saying anything at all. Gently acknowledging what has happened can bring great comfort and let them know that you care. 

I'm so sorry to hear about your baby / baby's name

Many parents have told us that acknowledgement of their baby is so important. If you know their baby's name, don't be afraid to use it, especially if they refer to their baby's name in conversation. If you're not sure, you could ask 'Have you given your baby a name?'

How are you doing today?

A simple text, call, email or card goes a long way. If you know the person well, you might want to give them a call to ask how they are. It’s ok to ask, ‘How are you doing today?’. Regularly checking in with someone can make all the difference in helping them to feel less isolated and alone.  

Do what’s right for you, I am/we are here for you 

We know it can be difficult to know what to say to a bereaved parent. Letting them know that you are here for them, whether that be to chat or do something more practical like going for a coffee or a walk can be so appreciated.  

Please remember that if you have arranged to meet up or have a phone call, and this can no longer go ahead, let them know well in advance you’ve had to change plans, and arrange an alternative way to connect.  

Did your baby have a name? I’d like to hear about them if you feel comfortable sharing 

Particularly for those who are long-ago bereaved, talking about their baby is not something that they may have done before. Giving them the time and space to talk about their baby openly, if they feel comfortable to, could make a huge difference.  

You could ask questions such as ‘How old would they now be?’ or ‘What do you do to remember them?’  

For more recently bereaved parents, you could invite them to talk about their baby. What they would have liked them to look like or grow up to be. It’s worth remembering to mirror their language when talking about their experience and baby.

Practical ways to support

We know that offering support can feel complicated. The most important thing is letting them know that you are here for them, whenever they need it. In the early days and weeks after baby loss, many bereaved parents find it difficult to do everyday things. However, parents may also need their own time and space to come to terms with what has happened, even if they want you to be around at other times and that's ok too. Be sure to take their lead and be prepared for plans to change day-to-day as they navigate grief. 

Here are some ways that you can help:

Ask them if there is anything that you can do to help

Tasks such as cleaning the house, cooking dinner or even taking the dog for a walk can sometimes be the last thing on people's minds. Helping with these simple tasks could make all the difference.

Invite them round for a cuppa

Be proactive and invite them over to your house for a cup of tea. Be led by them in terms of what they would like to talk about but giving them this space to share how they are feeling will really help.

Go for a walk or do something they enjoy together

If there is something that they enjoy doing e.g. bike rides or walking through national parks, ask if that is something that they feel up to doing. Getting out in the fresh air can help people to clear their minds and take time to reflect.

Create memories for their baby

Ask if they would like to create memories and reassure them you would be honoured to be part of that memory making, if they would like you to be. Whether this is planting a tree in the garden or making items together that they can place in their Memory Box to remember their much-loved baby will help to ensure that their baby will always be remembered. 

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