Labor and Delivery
Learning that your baby has died will have been shocking and may blind you to the sad truth that you will still need to go through labor. It is rare that a stillbirth occurs via C-Section because this type of delivery brings a higher risk for infection and a significantly more difficult recovery period. Some medical teams prefer to have you induced immediately and others give the option of returning a day or two later so that you have time to process what is happening first. Your doctor will give you the option of having a natural birth or an epidural. I wanted to feel every moment that I had with my baby girl (and I had an irrational fear that an epidural might mean that I couldn't hold her while she was still warm), so I chose to give birth naturally. I had gotten epidurals with both of my sons and found that my physical recovery was significantly faster with a natural birth. This was important to me as I began the long journey of grieving because it meant that I could hike (albeit very slowly and carefully...) even ten days after being discharged from the hospital...and hiking helped me begin my emotional healing.
Things to consider as you face labor and delivery of your stillborn baby:
- 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.