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How can I best support this couple?


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#1 harrison~at~last

Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

Thanks everyone for your feedback and suggestions :-)

Edited by harrison~at~last, 12 April 2012 - 01:15 PM.


#2 Lyra

Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:11 PM

Hi there, I have not experienced a loss such as this so can not advise you at all. But, if they did want to go down the road of having photos taken I can highly recommend this organisation

http://www.heartfelt.org.au/

And, even if they don't wish to use the services, it might be worth you knowing about so you might help other couples in the future

#3 Bluenomi

Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

I was about to suggest Heartfelt myself. They are wonderful people and I know many people who have lost little ones who highly recomment them and treasure their photos.

#4 butterflyangels

Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

Does your hospital give our memory boxes for stillborn babys, its a box which has a few things to help the parents (blanket, face washer to wash bay, photo frame, candle etc), if not Mums Like Me amke them to give the the parents so they are not leaving hospitla empty handed.

Please let them know they are not alone and there are a lot of website out to help the parents such as Teddy Love Club, Carly Marie Project Heal, SIDS and if you go on there facebook pages many more will appear to help them.

Let the parents spend as much time with the baby as possible, it's the only time the parents will spend with there baby and see if they want family photos taken if Heartfelt can't make (even thou they try to as soon as requested).  Hand and foot prints definetely aand if they can get castings done that's another special memory

#5 Mrs_Maker

Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:48 PM

Please point them in the direction of Yasminah's Gift of Hope. www.ygoh.org.au

They provide Gifts of Hope to a lot of hospitals in Australia.

#6 Wigglemama

Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:54 PM

Play it all by ear. Don't hide your grief for them, they will appreciate it. Acknowledge their baby as a life and as a special part of their life. Encourage them to spend as much time with their baby as they can but don't push the issue if they say they are finished for now.

It isn't easy to look after families who are going through this. I have looked after three women in the last four months who have experienced this pain and it never gets easy. Just be there to support them, however they want to be supported and make sure you have support yourself. Debrief with the midwives, you will need it.

#7 Fright bat

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:03 PM

Don't forget to support yourself. If this is your first birth, and it's a prem stillborn, then it's going to be hard for you as well. Talk to the midwife who will be there before hand and see what she wants you to do. Feel free to leave and have some time out if need be. And arrange someone to debrief/cry with after.

You'll be of no use to anyone if you don't sort out your own feelings and emotions about it all both before and after. It's ok for even health professionals to be 'human' sometimes!

#8 Guest_Starletta_*

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

QUOTE (harrison~at~last @ 02/04/2012, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Ladies

I'm hoping I may be able to get some advice from you!  I'm a Student Midwife, and on Wednesday will be present for my first delivery.  Sadly, the baby arriving will be born sleeping at 23w.  I won't go into the details because they're not relevant, but I would like to support the parents in every way I can on what will be a heart wrenching day for them.

I have already told them that me being there is entirely up to them, if at any stage they would like to be alone, like me to leave, have me support them more/less etc I will respect their wishes.  I know the hospital has dealt with these situations before, and the Midwife delivering will know exactly what she's doing, but from a Mum's perspective, are there any suggestions/ideas you can offer?

We've talked about a couple of things like whether or not to have a funeral, and they'll be playing it all by ear as far as holding and spending time with the baby depending on how they feel at the time.  But we haven't talked about things like photo's or foot/handprints?  If you didn't have these, do you regret it?  Would you rather have them all available even for the future if you decided you did want them than to not have them and wish you did later?

I'm open to any comments, suggestions etc!


Hi op,

When my son was born I said no to everything. No I don't want to see him. No I didnt want prints. No I didn't him in my room.

Thank god for our wonderful midwife who recognized I was just overwhelmed with grief and wasn't thinking straight.

She kept him closeby and brought him back and forth as much as we needed. Did Hand/foot prints, birth stat cards and took heaps of photos when he was just born as I was out under ga. Organised for the photos to get burnt onto a disc. All the things I wasn't strong enough to do, she did for us. I am eternally grateful.

So sorry this is your first experience delivering a baby sad.gif agree with what a PP said, ensure you also look after yourself.




#9 TwiceTheWoman

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

OP. I'll PM you ok?

#10 Eirinn

Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:16 PM

My daughter was stillborn at 20 weeks, and I wish that someone had prepared me for how she might look. Because I was so overwhelmed with how fragile and broken she looked, I refused to take photos. I wish I had known about Heartfelt and the work they do.

I agree with the PP that the parents will be touched if you show your grief, but at a professional level if that makes any sense. You don't want them comforting you!

Good luck, and just remember that a stillbirth is still a birth. The couple are still becoming parents, and that is a beautiful thing, even if no one can see it at the time.

#11 harrison~at~last

Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

Thanks everyone!  I am thinking too about how I will deal with it from my own perspective, I'll make sure I talk to the Midwife on duty, and the Ob we all saw today was one of my Ob's from my last pregnancy, she checked that I was okay (took me aside), so if need be I can talk to her on Wednesday.  My husband's also great to debrief with, he's a Police Officer so has seen his share of heartbreak on the job.

TwiceTheWoman - You're more than welcome to PM me.

Thanks again!

Edited by Freckles, 09 April 2012 - 09:19 AM.
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