Build a Support Network
Reach out to tell your story and to hear other stories like yours. There is no one who understands your pain as deeply and fully as someone who has also lived it.
- For immediate help, call a grief support hotline.
First Candle's 24/7 Grief Support hotline can be reached at 1-800-221-7437
- Talk to a Grief Counselor. Star Legacy Foundation's Grief Line is staffed by grief counselors who have personal experience with pregnancy and infant loss.
Contact the Grief Line at 952-715.7731; ext 1 .
- Reach out to other mothers who have lost a child. This may begin to happen naturally. Once I posted a message on Facebook about Charlotte, two women that I already knew reached out to me to tell me that they had experienced similar losses. Another friend gave my email to a coworker of hers who was the mother of a stillborn baby as well. These three women (one of whom was a complete stranger and two with whom I had interacted very little before) wrote me many heartfelt messages, listened as I told my story over and over again, and provided support in a deeper way than others were able to. It sounds strange, but this tragedy will open your life up to new friendships with people who have survived the same trauma. These new friendships are important because every other relationship in your life will feel like it has shifted.
Star Legacy Foundation will connect you to others through their Peer Companion program. You can request phone, email, and text support nationwide. In-person support, including in-hospital support, is available in Minnesota and New York Metro. For more information on this program, contact Star Legacy at 952.715.7731, ext 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join an online or face-to-face support group. If you do not feel ready to pour your heart out yet, it may be helpful to hear someone else tell their story. The more that I heard other mothers tell about their losses, the more I felt hope that I would be able to survive this. I would be changed, yes, but still able to live a life that is full and meaningful.
- List of U.S. Support Organizations by State
- HEALing Embrace (a program brand of The Collective for Hope) offers Pregnancy and Infant loss support groups the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30-8:00PM CST (currently via Zoom – open to individuals beyond the state of Nebraska where we are located). For Support group information, please contact PAIL@thecollectiveforhope.org
- Register for a live, online Star Legacy Foundation support group for families who have experienced a perinatal loss and for individuals experiencing a pregnancy after a loss. Groups are held via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing and facilitated by trained health professionals. Registration is required only for the first time you attend.
- Compassionate Friends Meeting Locator (Face to Face Meetings)
- Bereaved Parents of Perinatal Loss is a live, online support group (via videoconferencing) that is facilitated by Debbie Fischer, LAMFT and sponsored by the Star Legacy Foundation. It takes place on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30 pm eastern/6:30 pm central/5:30 pm mountain/4:30 pm pacific. Registration is just required for the first session, but participants are emailed a reminder for sessions that take place after that.
- Stillbirth and Infant Loss Support Group (Closed Facebook Group)
- I'm Still Standing (Public Facebook Group moderated by Still Standing Magazine)
- Compassionate Friends Online Support Groups/ Live Chat Rooms
- Compassionate Friends Private Facebook Page: Loss of a Child
- Compassionate Friends Private Facebook Page: Loss to Miscarriage or Stillbirth
- Accept help from family members and friends who reach out to you. It is ok to tell them that you aren't ready to talk or visit yet. People understand that you are facing a traumatic event. Keep communication open so that they are still there when you are ready.
- Locate a loss doula through Loss Doulas International. Loss doulas are able to assist parents and their support circle with navigating a terminal diagnosis for the baby, the birth, and even memorial planning afterwards. Loss Doulas International can also be contacted via their online contact form or via phone at 816-830-9572 or 816-457-6930