How can a baby's death affect the parents' relationship?

Many people think that the death of a baby will bring parents closer together. This is not always true. The death of a baby can place tremendous stress on your relationship. But with genuine care, concern and respect for each other’s feelings and grief reactions, you can come through this experience with renewed strength and hope for the future. Things to keep in mind:
  • Both of you are in pain. Both of you are in need of support. Making sure that both of your needs are met will take time, energy, patience and understanding.
  • At times you may not have the energy to take care of anyone but yourself. During these times, let your partner know how you’re feeling and what you need. Ask for help or a listening ear from outside the relationship if need be.
  • Accept that your grief and your partner’s grief will not be the same. Never assume that because your partner hasn’t cried, or hasn’t mentioned the baby in a while, that your partner is okay. Ask how your partner is doing, ask frequently and listen.
  • Keep the romance in your relationship. Plan a date night each week, even if you don’t necessarily feel like it. Set aside time each day to just touch and share closeness; talk about the early days of your relationship and the feelings you had for each other. Sexual intimacy will come with time; don’t force it.
  • Consider counseling. Be willing to do whatever you need to do to ensure that your relationship survives this unexpected, tragic experience. You’ve lost your baby, don’t risk losing each other.
First Candle has a dedicated toll-free 800 number for all those affected by the death of a baby: 1-800-221-7437.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.