Helpful Groups

Below is a list of various organisations that can be helpful for parents who have experienced the death of a baby. All quotes are from the organisation's website.

Heartfelt -

"Heartfelt services are for stillbirths (from approx 22 weeks), critically premature (under approx 28 weeks) and ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as babies and children up to approx 16 years old with serious and terminal illnesses.
Participating photographers will come to the hospital or your home at a time convenient to you and will help supply you with cherished photographic memories. After your session the photographer will provide your family with a full set of 4"x6" inch prints (approximately twenty, circumstances permitting sufficient variety of images). The photographer will also supply a disk of high resolution images for the family. There will be no charge for this service, these prints or the disk."

The lovely Karen from Karen Pfeiffer Photography came, on behalf of Heartfelt, to the hospital to photograph our Ariella on the day she was born. The photos she took have become one of my most treasure items; I love being able to show such beautiful photos of my girl to people who didn't get to meet her.

Pregnancy Loss Australia (Teddy Love) -

"The program provides support to bereaved families at the very beginning of their loss by the giving of a traditional teddy bear and a complete care package, something tangible to hold on to before they have to leave the hospital with such empty aching arms. by donating a Teddy Bear it gives parents a way in which to acknowledge their own baby. At the same time it is a gesture of thoughtfulness and understanding for a newly bereaved parent."

After the final ultrasound and the diagnosis of "no heartbeat", our midwife brought us a care package from PLA. The first thing she pulled out of the bag to give us was the teddy bear. I turned to my husband and said "I didn't know I needed a teddy until I was given one." It might seem like a small thing, but having something to hold was comforting. The information in the care package is also helpful to read through.

Sands -

"Sands promotes awareness, parent support and understanding following the death of a baby (occurring any time from conception through to newborn).
We do this by providing quality support and information to parents and their families."

While at the hospital we received some booklets from Sands, but what I have found most helpful so far is actually their Facebook pages - for both my state and Australia-wide. They also have closed Facebook groups for bereaved parents, and run monthly support meetings, which I have found very helpful.

SIDS and Kids -

"SIDS and Kids works to find answers for parents by funding and supporting vital research into stillbirth, SIDS and safe sleeping practices. Through evidence based community education we aim to prevent these deaths and we advocate for and support bereaved families."

Before Ariella, I did not know that SIDS and Kids were involved in stillbirth research, but that is a part of what they do. They have also published a range of booklets that bereaved parents can be given. These booklets contain stories from other parents who have experienced the death of a child, as well as some information that helps to normalise the emotions you experience. They even have a book to give to the grandparents of the child, as well as a book to help the parents' friends know how best to help. 

Still Birthday -

"The mission of the stillbirthday global network is to validate a pregnancy loss as the birth, and death, that it is. We do this in part through printable birth plans and doulas who can support families in person prior to, during, or after birth. We aim to come alongside families from the very beginning of their parenting journey, whether through rearing or grieving, and provide support for birth in any trimester. The stillbirthday global network is a part of Christian Childbirth Services LLC."

This website has a number of articles, suggestions and even pictures that can be helpful to a grieving parent. I have not spent much time browsing their website, but I know it has been quite helpful to other parents.


♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Great resources .
I received a teddy bear from TLC 8 yrs ago. The 'comfort' was something I cannot begin to describe , knowing I was not alone and yes something to cling to as I walked out the doors with empty arms and aching heart. I was quite involved for many years in NSW.

Larissa said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been through something similar. I think I held that teddy pretty tightly as I left the hospital too...

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