How to handle yourself emotionally after stillbirth?
Stillbirth is a devastating event in any parent’s life. It can affect every aspect of your life and at times, it may seem that life will never go on. If you or someone you know is going through or has gone through a stillbirth before, there are ways to help aid in the healing process.
Although, at that point in time, it may seem as if nothing will ever make this pain disappear, but trust me, time heals the deepest of wounds. There are a few things you could do to possibly speedup the healing process:
Hold Your Baby
Many parents want to spend time with their stillborn baby. This is completely normal and can help aid in the healing process. It won’t be what everyone needs though so remember that the choice is completely up to you and you should do what you’re most comfortable with. Many parents find it comforting to get to see what their baby looks like and even taking photos of the baby can be a great way to remember the little person you lost. You can also request a lock of your baby’s hair, and/or handprints and footprints to keep as mementos.
Name Your Baby
If you didn’t already choose a name for your bub before they passed, it can be a good idea to name them now. Naming your baby helps to acknowledge them as a real person which can aid in the healing process. Not all parents feel the need to or want to name their baby, however, that is also perfectly fine. Do whatever you feel is best for you and your family.
Find Out Why Your Baby Was Stillborn
There are some tests that your doctor can run to help try to discover the cause of your baby’s passing. Finding out what happened can help provide you with closure. It won’t always be possible to discover a cause for your stillbirth, but if you deny the tests, you may be left always wondering if you could have known. What’s most important to consider when deciding to have the tests done or not is how you and your partner feel about it. Don’t feel the need to do anything that you’re not comfortable with.
Stillbirth can leave you feeling a variety of emotions that can be hard to process. It can be a good idea to seek professional help in order to help you sort out your emotions and talk about your experience in a safe place. It’s also a good idea for you and your partner to seek counselling together.
Stillbirth causes so many negative emotions and can change your life so dramatically that it can negatively impact your relationship as a couple.
Counselling can help you proactively avoid this by keeping communications open and helping each other to understand what the other one’s needs and feelings are.
Finding other people who have gone through stillbirth can also help you to not feel alone. Stillbirth is something that you would never wish on anyone else, but knowing there are others out there who have had similar experiences can be healing. Talking and relating to others who have lost their babies can help you to feel more normal and recognize that life can and will go on. You can look for local support groups, or join one of the many online support groups for stillbirth.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself prior to and during pregnancy will help to reduce your chances of experiencing a stillbirth. However, sometimes no matter what you do, your baby still doesn’t make it. After experiencing a stillbirth, it is still important to take care of yourself. Know that whatever it is that you are feeling, it is completely normal to feel that way. Never blame yourself for your baby’s death. Sometimes things just happen, and we may never know why. The important thing to do is try to grieve and heal in healthy ways. Make sure to keep communication open with your partner and find ways to remember your little one. Your precious bub will never be forgotten.