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Losing a Baby

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

It’s not something anyone ever expects to have to deal with, but for many, it is a very real part of their story.

Pregnancy, birth, baby, labour, babies, doula, women, maternity, healthcare, twins, triplets, antenatal, postnatal, postpartum, trimester, gestation, gestational, intrapartum, delivery, hospital, homebirth, freebirth, hypnobirth, hypnobirthing, breastfeed, breastfeeding, pregnant, vbac, nbac, caesarean, physiology, csection, neonatal, caregiver, uterus, womb, dilate, dilation, cervix, oxytocin, endorphins, birth support, waterbirth, doula Penrith, western Sydney doula, postpartum doula, postnatal doula, blue mountains doula, nepean hospital, Hawkesbury hospital, blue mountains hospital, nepean hospital doula, nepean private hospital, westmead hospital, westmead doula, nepean doula, vbac doula, vbac penrith, vbac blue mountains, vbac western Sydney,

I’d like to start this blog by sending out my profound sympathies to any of you who have lost a baby. If this is you and you are struggling, I hope this post and these resources can start to give you a sense of direction. Please always feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance finding support groups or counsellors or anything in between for you.


If you are here because you know someone who has recently suffered a loss, but don’t know how to help, I hope these resources can help you too.


We have several national and state organisations that are set up to support bereaved parents and families after the loss of a child.


The most well-known of these is Red Nose Australia. They have a support website and 24/7 support number which is one of the best places to start for bereaved parents who are not sure where to begin. SANDS Australia and Red Nose have merged companies, but they still operate their counselling and services separately - SANDS have a peer-to-peer model of support which means that volunteers have been through similar experiences themselves which can be of significant comfort to families after losing a child. They will also provide support for the greater network of the family and support people.


There is also the Bears of Hope, who have an abundance of resources: guides, stories, poetry and music, ideas for memorialising your baby, and support groups. They also provide cuddle cots to hospitals, which give parents the gift of time with their babies.


In NSW, there is an organisation called The Compassionate Friends who support bereaved parents and siblings. They also have a 24/7 support line and run local support groups throughout the state. In Western Sydney, our most local groups are Blue Mountains, Rouse Hill and Campbelltown. Their website also has some resources that may be helpful.


Hospital to Home Program:

The Hospital to Home program is a Red Nose bereavement support program there to assist parents returning home after the death of a baby. It is a program tailored to the individual needs of each family, but generally helps connecting parents with mental health services, funeral arrangements and making memories of their baby. Parents can nominate themselves, or have someone nominate them on their behalf - even a care provider.


Treasured Babies:

The Treasured Babies program is another Red Nose program which provides parents with clothing and other items for newborn babies who have died. Volunteers use patterns provided by Red Nose and donate items so that parents have clothing and accessories to pick from in appropriate sizes, regardless of how big or small their baby was born. It can alleviate some of the stress of finding clothing and allow them to instead spend those precious moments focusing on their baby.


Cuddle Cots:

Bears of Hope fundraise to provide as many cuddle cots to as many hospitals as possible. Cuddle cots are engineered to slow down the changes affecting a baby who has died in order to provide the parents and family as much time as possible to create memories, bond and say goodbye. They give the gift of time to grieving parents and families.


Heartfelt Photography:

Heartfelt are an organisation of volunteer professional photographers who donate their time and skills to providing families with photos of them and their babies born still or soon after birth, as well as children with serious or life threatening illness. They gift their services, including a small gallery of professionally prepared images from your session. You can call 1800 583 768 to request a session.


Angel Gowns:

Angel Gowns are an organisation of volunteers who turn wedding dresses into gowns for babies who are stillborn and infants of up to 18 months old who have died. They supply packs with gowns, blankets, beanie and booties as well as a keepsake direct to hospitals and funeral homes. NBMLHD Hospitals are not currently on their list, but there are a couple of funeral homes in the Greater Western Sydney area listed, and they do provide packs to Westmead Public and Private hospitals. You can check their website for full details on where they provide packs.


End of Life Doulas:

End of Life doulas, also called Death Doulas, are companions who will walk the bereavement journey with you, providing guidance and support in any number of ways the parents and family may need. An End of Life doula can care for those experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a child after birth.


Support Groups in NSW:

Blue Mountains

TCF NSW Chapter

(02) 4739 8209

Chapter Leader: Cathryn

Campbelltown

TCF NSW Group

0408 817 412

Chapter Leader: Joy

campbelltown@tcfnsw.org.au

Rouse Hill

TCF NSW Group

0420 600 953

Chapter Leader: Sandra


Support Lines (Nationwide):

Red Nose: 1300 308 307

Bears of Hope: 1300 11 HOPE

The Compassionate Friends: 1300 064 068


Additional Resources:


Pregnancy, birth, baby, labour, babies, doula, women, maternity, healthcare, twins, triplets, antenatal, postnatal, postpartum, trimester, gestation, gestational, intrapartum, delivery, hospital, homebirth, freebirth, hypnobirth, hypnobirthing, breastfeed, breastfeeding, pregnant, vbac, nbac, caesarean, physiology, csection, neonatal, caregiver, uterus, womb, dilate, dilation, cervix, oxytocin, endorphins, birth support, waterbirth, doula Penrith, western Sydney doula, postpartum doula, postnatal doula, blue mountains doula, nepean hospital, Hawkesbury hospital, blue mountains hospital, nepean hospital doula, nepean private hospital, westmead hospital, westmead doula, nepean doula, vbac doula, vbac penrith, vbac blue mountains, vbac western Sydney,

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