June is the awareness month for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, also named Sands for short.
Sands’ theme for this year is #FindingTheWords which leads me to writing this article.
As carrying educators we come into contact with parents and carers during the most important times of their lives, they are expecting a baby and are very excited about what is to come, or they have just had a baby, an experience they will never forget.
For most parents the emotions they will feel are mostly happy ones.
Unfortunately we need to be aware that for some parents this can be a very anxious time too. The way we address them and ask questions, and finding the right words, is very important. A simple question like: ‘Is this your first child?’ can trigger a whole range of emotions for parents who might have had a miscarriage or a still birth.
It is crucial at that time to have an open heart and a listening ear, some people might want to talk about their experience of loss, others will not be ready for this.
Acknowledging that this can be an anxious time as well as a happy time with a newborn, is very important, as well as saying that it is OK to not be OK.
Babywearing and keeping their little one close can be a healing experience for these families. They might seem more anxious than other new parents and need a bit more reassuring and patience.
I wrote a blog post about babywearing after pregnancy loss.
Here’s a link to a great article about what not to say to a bereaved parent. I hope you find it helpful.
The website of the BabyLoss Awareness Alliance links to different organisations that will be able to give advice and support for different situations.
In memory of Sterre* born on 20th June 2011, always carried in our hearts.