Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

If it happens to you

Suggestions from bereavement experts and support group leaders for parents facing pregnancy loss:

Be human: Admit it when you feel lonely or in pain. Allow yourself to ask for help, and accept it when family and friends extend a hand. If necessary, contact a local support group for grieving parents.

Communicate: Talk about the baby and your feelings with your partner, family and friends.

Read: Refer to books, articles and poems that provide comfort, understanding and the sense you're not alone.

Write: Record your thoughts in a diary or journal. Write letters, notes or poems to or about the baby.

Physical exam: Because your body also may respond to the grief, schedule a physical examination about four months after experiencing a loss.

Stay stable: Wait at least a year before making any major job or relationship changes. Avoid new or uncertain trips and don't let others make decisions for you.

Faith: Seek spiritual bonds, whether by renewing ties with clergy or setting aside quiet time for reflection.

Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet that includes milk, protein, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Avoid junk food.

Fluid intake: Drink eight glasses of liquids (juice, water, soda) per day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Exercise: Do something active every day. Even a walk around the block can be useful.

Rest: Avoid increased work activity. Maintain stable rest patterns, even if you're unable to sleep.