Pregnancy and Infant Loss: Honoring a Lost Baby

No matter when or how you lose a baby, grief can be great and long-lasting. Instead of having memories of your time together, you are left with dreams about what the future should have brought. Honoring a lost baby is one thing that can help you manage your grief.

Here are some ways to remember a baby you lost in pregnancy or in infancy.

Create a website or blog

Keep your child’s memory alive by creating a website or blog in their honor. You can add written entries, photos taken in the hospital, a playlist of songs to remember your baby, or links to stakeholders who support stillbirth research, maternal health, and parental rights legislation.

If you don’t want to create your own page (or don’t know exactly how), there are websites out there that provide a template for you to create a memorial website with your own photos, videos, and text. You can then invite family and friends to share their memories with you on the site.

Remember and celebrate birthdays

Birthdays (and dates of birth or miscarriages) can be a painful reminder of your loss. You can try to deal with this pain by doing something memorable or special that can help bring you peace. You can plant a tree or flower in your yard, make a financial donation, or give away toys in honor of your baby to a nearby children’s charity or hospital.

Some BabyCenter mothers also released balloons for their child’s birthday, others shared a birthday cake with their partner and sang “Happy Birthday” to their baby. These moments may feel tough, but over time, they can become meaningful and beautiful memories.

Capture your baby’s physical memories

Not all parents get pictures, footprints, or other memories of their deceased baby, but a tangible memento to hold on to and look at can be great comfort. You can create your own keepsake of losing a baby or search for a handmade keepsake on sites like Etsy.

Engraved holiday ornaments and framed quotes make great memorabilia. You will find something that feels special and that resonates with you.

Carry a memory of your baby

Some grieving parents find comfort in taking a keepsake of their child wherever they go. Some carry their child’s name, birthstone or strand of hair in a locket or other piece of jewelry. Others get a baby loss tattoo that can feature their child’s name or footprints, or some other special symbol that has personal meaning to them.

Set up a foundation or fundraiser

Hosting a charity event or starting a foundation is a way to honor your baby’s life while also helping other families. You can donate the money raised to a local hospital or other group that has supported your family during your loss. Or you can donate them to an organization like the March of Dimes or the International Totbirth Association.

Observe Pregnancy and Infant Loss Reminder Month

October is the month of pregnancy and infant loss awareness, a time to honor and remember babies who died during pregnancy or as infants. It also recognizes the needs of grieving parents and supports families who have suffered such losses.

On October 15, World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, people around the world light a candle at 7 p.m. local time. The result is a wave of light that spans the globe, reminding grieving parents that they are not alone. And you are truly not alone: ​​between 10 and 15 percent of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage, around 24,000 babies are born dead every year.

Find pregnancy and infant loss assistance online

The BabyCenter Community has several groups in which grieving parents support each other:

Here are some other foundations and online resources for assistance with pregnancy and infant loss:

The MISS Foundation
Crisis aid and long-term help for families after the death of a child.

First candle
Information and counseling services for grieving families.

Star Legacy Foundation
Improving care for families who have experienced the loss of a child.

Grief center
An internet community for people dealing with grief, death and great loss.

The compassionate friends
An organization with more than 600 chapters that help grieving families and offer resources.

Dougy Center
Support for children, adolescents and families mourning a death.

Share support with pregnancy and infant loss
Serves those whose life is touched by the death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or within the first few months of life.

Surviving parents of the United States
Support group that provides support, understanding, compassion, and hope to grieving parents, grandparents, and siblings.

Mourn loudly
Support and resources for pregnancy and infant loss, including a pen pal program that connects mothers, fathers, and grandparents who have lost babies with others with similar experiences.

More ways to remember a lost baby

  • Hold a memorial service or meeting – large or small – at a place of worship, park, or home.
  • Write poetry or a story that you can publish.
  • Create art for yourself or to share.
  • Write a song or create a playlist.
  • Create a collage or memory box.
  • Let go of butterflies.
  • Put a statue in a garden.
  • Etch your baby’s name on a rock and put it outside.
  • Engrave your baby’s name on a brass plate and display it.
  • Light a candle.
  • Put a picture in a designated place.
  • Donate to a charity on your child’s behalf.

About Cindy Johnson

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