This is your baby. You have options for creating lasting memories if you want to. Give yourself and your partner time to feel what you feel at this time. You’ve been a parent to your baby, and it’s important to find ways to remember your baby. Creating precious memories can be an important part of this parenting and healing experience.
You’ll be offered a chance to create memories. For example, you may want to:
- take photos of your baby
- bring in a special item from home
- receive mementos like a teddy bear or recognition of life certificate
Think about what memories will be important for you and your family. Finding ways to remember can help with healing.
Under 12 to 14 weeks: Your baby may look like tissue or a small sac. If you’d like to be involved in the care, you can choose to see and hold the baby, take photos, or accept mementos like a small teddy bear and memory box. Take the time you need to say goodbye. You may ask for a memory box or other mementos which will serve as memorials of your baby’s life.
Over 12 to 14 weeks: You may want to create special memories or take part in religious ceremonies or rituals that are meaningful to you and your family. Some families dress or wrap their babies and read special stories to them. This is your time with your baby. Do whatever feels right to you. If you have questions, talk to your healthcare team.
You’ll get a memory box or bag to keep mementos. You can add other items to the memory box like an ultrasound picture, cards, or a toy if you want to.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Bereavement Programs offer mementos as a way to remember your baby. These mementos are made possible through donations from families and volunteers who may have had a similar loss.
Many families find that having mementos and photos of their baby helps with their grieving. It’s one way to remember your baby. If it feels right for you, take photos of your baby. You can use your own camera, smartphone, or one from the hospital. If you’re not sure if you want photos, you can take them now and look at them later when you feel ready.
Recognition of life
You may decide to privately recognize your baby’s life instead of having a formal ceremony. This could be with you and your partner, family and friends, or anyone who is meaningful to you.
You may have an intimate service with family and friends.
For losses under 20 weeks, you may have a private ceremony in the hospital prayer room, sacred space, your backyard, or at a place of your choice. Organized public services available through most Pregnancy and Infant Loss programs. Check with your social worker for resources in your area.
Write an obituary
An obituary is another way to honour the life and death of your baby. It can be long, short, detailed, or simple. You can also include poems or a personal message. Writing an obituary and sharing it with friends and family helps them to know about your hopes for your baby and the depth of your loss.
Many families honour their baby by:
- planting a tree
- creating, building, or buying a symbolic item
- choosing a special holiday arrangement
- writing a poem
- releasing balloons at a special ceremony
- creating a scrap book or memory book