Infant Loss: How to Help Grieving Parents


Infant loss, stillbirth, and miscarriage are perhaps the most difficult times to offer words of sympathy. I cannot tell you very many things you can say to help parents who are experiencing this heartache, but I can tell you that simple gestures and acknowledgments are desperately needed for bereaved parents to cope with the death of their baby.
Perhaps the most helpful gesture you can make is to give grieving parents a way to honor and commemorate their precious baby. Miscarriage tends to not be acknowledged as much as other losses, yet this profound loss can cause deep grief that is difficult to reconcile without some kind of tangible way of finding closure. Acknowledging infant loss by sending flowers, a card or a memorial gift can really mean a lot.

Ideas for Baby Loss

Sympathy gifts, especially for baby loss, can be a wonderful way to sure your support. There are several retailers who specialize in gifts for grieving parents. Some of my favorites can be found on my resource page.

One retailer that I really like is Earth Mama Angel Baby. They have several memorial gifts including healing aromatherapy candles and teas.

Miscarriage jewelry makes a beautiful sympathy gift that gives a grieving woman a token of remembrance.
La Belle Dame is a wonderful source for Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss Jewelry -Customized jewelry to celebrate the life of a child lost in miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. Each piece is created using carefully selected symbols to help support the grieving parent after the loss of a baby.
Another great source for remembrance jewelry and memorial keepsakes is My Forever Child.

I found the My Forever Child website after a good friend of mine had suffered a miscarriage. I am so thankful that this website exists and I know that it has been a tremendous blessing to countless parents.
Another resource that has helped many parents cope with their loss is a wonderful nonprofit organization called, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They have provided a special way of giving hope to grieving moms and dads as they cope with infant loss. If this is a loss close to your heart, you may want to consider donating to this organization. They provide beautiful professional portraits to bereaved parents at no cost.

The Best Ways to Offer Support for Infant Loss

As a society, we have learned to avoid talking about the death of babies, but this only leads to isolation and pain. Don’t be afraid to ask bereaved parents how they are feeling or if they would like help with funeral arrangements. Offer your support by being present in their lives without hovering too much. Remember that it is never too late for grieving families to find healing through connection so do not hesitate when trying to offer comfort during these difficult times.

Offer to help with practical needs and household chores. It might only be something little that you are able to do, bringing over a meal or sending a care package, but it’s the fact that you are doing something that speaks volumes. Many times people are overwhelmed with the sadness of their loss and because they feel so hopeless they do nothing.

Please do not avoid grieving parents. Make a simple gesture, even just sending a card to acknowledge their loss. Let them know that you are sad for them.
Here are some phrases to avoid saying:

  • “It was meant to be.”
  • “It was for the best.”
  • “Your baby is in a better place now.”
  • “Time heals all wounds.”
  •  “I know exactly how you feel.” (even if you have experienced a similar loss)
  • “At least you have other children.” or “you can always have another baby.”

Allowing yourself to be present with those who are grieving is important. You do not need to avoid asking about their feelings or avoiding bringing up the baby’s death; these things will not lessen their pain. Offer support by being there for them and listening when they want you to listen, but also offer space if that’s what they need.