Losing a child—be it involving miscarriage, preterm labor, abortion, birth defects, stillbirth, or the death of a baby—is one of the most difficult life experiences we can have. The hope of having a healthy child is one shared by every family—when a child is lost, it is simply devastating. While similar to the grief we meet in other losses, the grief of losing a child is unique in many ways. The loss of a baby at or before birth can be particularly isolating and not well understood by others. Many of us suffer in silence and bear the weight of this overwhelming grief behind closed doors.
The intensity of perinatal loss is not governed by the length of the pregnancy or the child’s life—each time a fetus or baby does not survive and thrive is a monumental loss of life, a life just as important and cherished as any other.
If you or someone you love experiences such a tremendous loss, its important to find support and resources to assist with coping and grieving. Unprocessed losses can adversely impact a woman or family’s future.
In that light, we have compiled some resources here. These are intended as a starting point and are certainly not meant to be exhaustive. If you know of additional online or local resources, we’d love to hear about them.
We wish peace, healing and hope to all those who have experienced perinatal loss.
Ella’s Halo—a non-profit organization providing comforts of home to babies and families during extended stays in Twin Cities NICUs.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep—a non-profit offering free remembrance photography
Faith’s Lodge – a retreat in the North Woods that provides a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or death of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future. Families who have lost a child, age 20+ weeks gestation through 19 years, within the last three years may check-in to Faith’s Lodge Tuesday through Saturday and may stay from one to five nights, once per year.
Various MN support groups – this is a listing of many support groups available in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota
Compassionate Friends – this national non-profit, dedicated to helping every bereaved parent, sibling, or grandparent, has many local chapters with resources, including support groups, for Twin Cities and Minnesota families.
Shoshana Center – located in Saint Paul, Dr. Deb Rich specializes in caring for women and families, including through the experience of perinatal loss.
Kenwood Therapy Center – located in Minneapolis, this center offers an array of services to help clients re-author life’s narratives and cope with life’s difficulties and transitions.
Suzanne Swanson – a Saint Paul psychologist specializing in pregnancy, birth issues, postpartum, loss/trauma, and mothering. 651-221-9709
Krista Post – Located in St. Louis Park, psychologist specializes in infertility, pregnancy & infant loss, birth trauma, postpartum issues, parenting. 612-296-3800
Earth Mama Angel Baby—herbal support for mamas who’ve lost a baby
First Candle—a non-profit offering grief counseling, and many resources to parents and professionals
MISS Foundation – caring for families experiencing the death of a baby or child at any age and from any cause.
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope—bringing awareness to infant loss: many resources here.
StillBirthDay—an online information and support resource, also connects families with professionals training in birth loss
Glow in the Woods—written by survivors of baby loss
Still Life 365—an art project for those grieving babies
Resources for Family and Friends