While a mother physically carried the baby, the loss of a child will have a profound impact on the entire family. Preparing for a baby is often a community event, where things like baby showers create a sense of excitement and anticipation for the baby’s arrival. When the baby is stillborn this turns quickly from a joyful time to one of sadness.
One person who will need a great deal of support is the mother’s partner. This person has also lost a child and will need to cope with the feelings of grief and loss associated with stillbirth. They typically also have the added stress of staying strong and providing support to the mother that lost the baby. Sometimes, this can cause the partner to get lost in the shuffle. The focus is generally on the mother who lost the child, and her partner can occasionally feel hesitant to bring up their own feelings of sadness.
If the family has other children, they will also need help dealing with the loss of their sibling. No matter what age they are, children are extremely perceptive. They will understand that something is wrong, and notice that the child that was expected to arrive has not. If the child is old enough, it might be a good idea to have them speak with a counselor to ensure that they are tackling their own emotions about the situation.
Dealing with the loss of a child will impact every person who was eagerly anticipating the baby’s arrival. It is important to acknowledge their pain and help them find the right way to process their emotions. Often, telling them to seek the help of a professional therapist or counselor is the best advice you can give to someone impacted by stillbirth. Give them the space to grieve, heal, and recover from this terrible loss.