This mum has 10 pieces of invaluable advice for those who experience a stillbirth
There is nothing more heartbreaking than the loss of a child.
It's something that no parent should ever have to face, but unfortunately many do with it occurring in 2 out of every 1,000 births in Ireland.
Given the heartbreaking nature of last night's episode of The Rotunda, I thought it was important to remember all the parents that have been through the same tragedy.
Stillbirth is something that has affected my own family, and it's never easy watching someone you know suffer the loss of their baby.
This post was shared by one mum who wanted to share her heartbreaking experience after the loss of her daughter and it's something I think will speak to a lot of people.
"My first little girl would be three next week but sadly she was stillborn.
To say the loss of my first child broke me is a massive understatement. There were days I thought I'd never stop crying, never breathe properly again. But I'm still here thanks to great friends and family and the fact that myself and himself have welcomed another little girl since then and that little wagon keeps us smiling .
Since the loss of our little girl (Grace) there have been times when I've had to bite my tongue and not respond to some of the absolutely fucking ridiculous comments people have said. So this week, as a way to honour my little girl and in a small show of support to bereaved parents I'd like to offer some advice to anyone wanting to know what to say or do to someone who's baby is stillborn."
1) Ask what their baby's name is. Say the name. Hearing their baby's name will never upset a bereaved parent but not hearing it probably will.
2)Don't suggest that having another baby will make them feel better!
3)Never start a sentence with "at least". ("At least they didn't suffer. At least you were spared from possibly having a sick child!")
4)Ask the father how he is. People rarely do.
5)Try not to say things like "did you get over everything ok?" They lost a baby. Not a wallet!
6)Text them. Check in to see if they're ok.
7)Never assume that people will return to their normal selves. A friend recently told me she's surprised I'm still upset!
8)If the couple is fortunate enough to have another baby, don't say stuff like "well you wouldn't have baby b if baby a lived".
9)If you're lucky enough to be pregnant and you have a good friend who has lost a baby, please take the time to send them a private text to tell them your baby has arrived. They'll be happy for you but they don't need to be included in a group message listening to the fucking phone beep every 2 minutes with messages of congratulations.
10)Be there. Or offer to be. Even to just sit in silence or drink tea. Simple gestures mean the most
It's often hard to know how to help a loved with deal with a bereavement but I've found just letting them know that you're there when you need them is a huge comfort.
Everyone deals with grief in their own way and their own time, and while they might not need to talk right now, some days will trigger a memory or sad thought and they will need you then.
If you or anyone you know have suffered the loss of a child and need support visit Feileacain for advice.