Holding your baby
It is ok just to look at your baby.
Hold, cuddle and kiss your baby for as long as you feel you want and need to.
Time with your baby
Spend as much time as you feel you can and want with your baby.
It is ok to keep on asking the hospital staff to bring your baby back to you.
It is ok to keep your baby with you overnight.
Read a story, sing and or tell your baby.
It is ok to take your baby outside for a walk.
Find out if you may take your baby home just for a little while.
Bathing/Dressing your baby
You might like to give your baby a bath
The hospital might have some clothes that will fit your baby or you might have something special you want to dress your baby in.
Take photo’s and/or video footage during this beautiful bath time.
Photos of your baby
Ask for a photo or photo’s of your baby to be taken by the staff, most Hospitals have a digital camera that they can do this with.
Take your own photos or have someone take photos. You can have your photos printed in colour or black and white.
You may not feel you want to look at the photos right away but having the photos means if you do change your mind you will have them.
Take photos of your baby close up, of your baby wrapped up in a bunny rug, with you holding your baby, of your baby in what they are wearing.
Take photo’s of your baby with a teddy or other special gifts.
You might like to organise a professional photographer, see link below.
You may want to use your video camera. It may not be footage that you can watch at first but there may come a time when you do want to see it.
Take photos of the flowers/cards you receive.
Keep a special journal of your time in hospital.
Write all about your baby, your thoughts, what you are feelings or poetry
You could write a letter or special message to your baby.
Ask for special momentos of your baby to keep, such as the tape measure used, a precious lock of hair, the cot name tag, your baby’s hospital band.
Ask for hand & footprints printed in ink.
Ask if the hospital does hand & foot castings of your baby. (If not we are able to recommend some services available please contact us)
You may want to ask for and keep the clothes that your baby was wearing and bunny rug he or she was wrapped in.
What your baby may look like
Many bereaved parents have wanted to know what to expect with the arrival of their baby or what their baby may look like. Here are some shared experiences from other bereaved parents
- “our baby looked so perfectly formed just tiny”
- “she had exquisite details”
- “her little mouth flopped open and that was the only thing that made her not look alive”
- “he was soft and his skin was delicate but he was oh so perfect”
- “they really just looked like they were sleeping”
- “his skin was quite dark and bruised looking”
- “they weren’t even as tiny as I had imagined”
- “they had beautiful cherry red lips”
Some Facts on Pregnancy and Birth.
- 1 in 140 babies are stillborn in Australia each year
- 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss
- On average, 6 babies are stillborn daily in Australia
- The number of babies born stillborn is higher than the national road toll
- The number of babies stillborn each year is only slightly less than men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer.
- Since the commencement of the program in 2002, we have distributed over 30,000 teddy bears to bereaved families.
- Many of these families the program has supported either personally or through our 1800 number, website, online support groups and email.
- The program is offered in every maternity hospital across Australia.
- The program is the original bear giving bereavement support program in Australia.
- We support research into stillbirth and works closely with the Stillbirth Foundation Australia.