Grieving is exhausting and it can be especially difficult for parents to look after themselves at this time.
Taking some exercise, such as going for a walk, may help you feel less tired and tense. Parents need to be encouraged to make a little time to do something that they enjoy.
Many parents find they are helped when they give themselves time to talk about their feelings – some find they need spiritual support from a minister or the help of an experienced bereavement or relationship counsellor. Other parents find it helpful to go back to the hospital to talk things through again with the consultant, nurse or midwife who cared for them and their child. Most hospitals will be pleased to arrange a time for you to do this – some have someone working in bereavement support who may be able to see you in the months ahead.
Expressing your feelings
We all grieve in different ways. Many people feel tearful and sad for many weeks and months after the death. Grieving can feel like being on a rollercoaster, up one minute, and down the next. It’s hard to know what you will be feeling, but expressing your feelings helps the grieving process.
Talking and writing are just two ways of doing this. Creating an image through paint, clay or any other material can also be just as expressive of your feelings.
Finding someone to talk to
There are a number of people you can speak to:
- befriender from a local support group
- helpline, such as Child Bereavement UK’s Support and Information Line on 0800 02 888 40
- professional such as your community midwife, health visitor or doctor
- local minister, priest, hospital chaplain or religious leader
Grief is not about forgetting the person who has died, but about finding ways to remember them and take their memory forward with you in life.
Writing about your child
You might like to write a poem or story about your child or your pregnancy. You may like to write to your partner to express some of your feelings. Remember, your writing doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t need to show it to anyone else unless you want to.