Losing a baby at 20-24 weeks of pregnancy

Messages for other parents experiencing loss

We asked parents whether they had messages they wished to share with other parents. Often they had participated in this project to help others. Sarah wanted to let parents know that there was good care for people suffering a loss as, after attending a support meeting, “I knew that lots of other people had had much worse experiences than me and I didn't want everyone to think that that's how it had to be.”

Do what is right for you

Parents strongly felt that every parent’s experience was different and there wasn’t one right way to do things. There are likely to be many decisions. It was essential to do what felt right for them throughout the birth and time they spent with their baby, and then following their loss.
As time with their baby was so short it was important to think about these decisions carefully as there was only one time to get it right. It was really important to know about all of the possibilities when making decisions so that they could make an informed choice that felt right for them. 

Talking about loss

One main message parents discussed was the value of talking about their loss. They described the importance of talking to their partner, and encouraging friends and family to talk about their loss with them. They had often found great support and reassurance from other parents who had a similar experience. Parents recommended contacting other parents through face-to-face support groups or online forums. However, they felt it was important to recognise that everyone’s way of coping was different and that parents needed to find what suited them best. Those parents who had counselling often found it offered space and time to talk about their loss. Kelly said she bottled her feelings when close relatives were around and found counselling offered an opportunity to talk.
Coping with grief

Parents wanted others to know that losing a baby was devastating but that slowly things got better. They emphasised how they would never get over their loss but that they got used to living with it and had started to enjoy life again.

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