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Next week is Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs from the 9th to the 15th of October. The week aims to raise awareness of pregnancy and baby loss in the UK. It also provides an opportunity for those affected by pregnancy and baby loss to come together and share their stories.
Grieving is different for everybody. From local support groups to remembrance ceremonies, there’s no right or wrong. The grieving process may also change over time, and this is okay too. Losing a baby is extremely difficult. If there’s someone you know in your life who’s affected by baby loss, you might be unsure how you can support them. This article will guide you on how to support someone who's grieving.
A listening ear
Difficult conversations are easier to avoid. You might not know what to say to someone who has recently lost a baby. But don’t let that stop you from reaching out to support them. In the beginning, emotions will be raw. It’s a distressing time. They need all the support they can get. It can be tempting to want to give advice or try and fix the problem somehow. But sometimes it’s more helpful to hold the space for the person. Ask them open questions so they can explore their feelings. Let them know that you truly hear them. Feeling heard and understood by another can have a powerful healing effect on the speaker. It helps them to explore their emotions and thoughts, then attain new perspectives.
Direct them to further support
When traumatic events happen, people tend to forget the support that’s available to them. But there are many charity organisations that provide mental and emotional support to people going through pregnancy or baby loss. Sands are the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. They offer a freephone helpline, a mobile app and over 100 regional support groups. If you know someone who's struggling, drop them a text with the website or forward them the number. They might not need it straight away, but at least they’ll be aware of it should they ever feel the need to reach out.
Offer a favour
You might not feel like there’s much you can do to take away the pain of pregnancy or baby loss. And often, there isn’t. But there are other things you can do to provide a helping hand. Grieving is a draining and tiresome process. That makes dealing with even the smallest of life demands a struggle. This is why small favours can go such a long way. Offer to help out by picking up shopping, running errands or making the cuppas. This will free up some breathing space for the person and help them process their emotions.
Health Assured's BACP accredited counsellors can help you with baby loss. Get in touch on: 0844 891 0359
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