Making Final Arrangements After A Stillbirth

A full-term stillbirth can be absolutely devastating for parents; after 9 months of loving your growing child and dreaming about his or her birth, it is overwhelmingly difficult to deliver a baby that is still born. During the time period after a stillbirth it is normal to be incredibly sad, depressed, emotional, and even angry. As parents, you and you partner will have to make several decisions regarding final arrangements.

Final Memories

Upon delivering a stillborn baby, you and your partner will be given the opportunity to hold your child. Some people can't handle the emotional stress of holding their deceased child, but many parents cherish this time to make final memories of a life that ended too soon. Most hospitals will take footprints and hand prints for you to keep. Some hospitals offer special photography services so you can always have pictures of your sweet baby. Only do what you are comfortable with- everyone copes with the grief of a stillbirth in different ways, and the hospital staff will try to help you in any way possible.

Burial or Cremation

When you plan on bringing a new life into the world it can be very hard to face the decision of either burying or cremating the remains of your sweet baby. This is a personal choice for you and your partner, and you can choose what best fits your personal and religious beliefs. When you're at the hospital, you will most likely be contacted by a social worker who can provide support and assist you in making final plans. Many funeral homes offer discounted or even free cremation or burial services for newborns or young infants who pass away, so if finances are an issue, ask your social worker about funeral homes in your area that may do this.

Having a Funeral or Memorial Service

A stillbirth will involve a funeral home to provide cremation or burial services, but you are not required to plan a memorial service or funeral if you do not want to. However, a funeral is an important part of the grieving process for many people, while also giving other family members and friends an opportunity to say goodbye and support you during your dark time. If you would like to hold a funeral or memorial for your little angel, it can be arranged through the funeral home that you are working with, or you can contact your church to set up a service.