Content Warning: This article contains a discussion of pregnancy and infant loss.
Finding out about a new family member is always an exciting time- for friends, family and the couple involved. There is a lot of planning and dreaming that goes into new parenthood.
When you find out one of your close friends is going to be a new parent, you'll have a range of emotions from excitement, maybe even to pride, watching a close childhood friend growing up. One thing that may not pop into your head is that your friend may lose their baby. No matter how many kids your friend has, no one is ready to lose a baby. There will be no words to express the grief that the whole family and friends will feel if or when it happens. Here are a few ways to show support for your friend if they are put in that position.
Thoughtful gifts to help memorialize baby can be a good idea. A homemade blanket to wrap the baby if the baby has a chance of being born alive or a homemade hat. Little gifts will mean so much.
Hire a photographer if she hasn't to capture the pictures of when the baby is born and still alive. Make sure it won't intrude and your friend will appreciate it. Buying a special memory book to help record the short life of the baby is another option to help celebrate the life, no matter how short.
One of the biggest ways to support her is to simply be there and letting her know you are thinking about her and will be there to help and care about her. Support is the greatest gift you can give.
Help an especially close friend keep track of all her to-dos for planning the funeral or burial/cremation, do the research to help her so she knows what needs to be done and even help with any phone calls that she's too busy or stressed to make. There are tons of things that need to be planned and in reality, there is so little time to do it, a little help can go a long way.
In the case of a friend who is financially strapped after all the medical bills, taking donations and even setting up a Go Fund Me account will be a huge help. There should be no need to deal with both the grief and stress after burying a much-wanted family member.
The biggest two things you can give a friend losing a baby is time and emotional support. If they need time to themselves, let them know they can always talk to you and if they aren't ready to talk to anyone, let them be alone. Remember, you are feeling a range of emotions because you're close to them but the emotions they are feeling can't even be described unless you have suffered the same loss. There are support groups online for friends and family members to join for child loss due to certain conditions as well as some in some areas- you can always check to see if there are any open to friends and family members in your area related to the condition of the baby.