Discuss the parents’ wishes before giving birth

Do they want to see baby right away, right on the chest, who cuts the umbilical cord, etc? Make sure that there is enough room to decide differently after giving birth. Stay in close contact with both father and mother about this during and after the birth. Situations can still change, or feel different than expected. Previously made choices may be less appropriate. It is therefore essential to keep checking whether it is so good for the parents.

Do the same things you do with a live baby

Measuring/weighing/carrying in your arms/rocking/talking to.

Acknowledging and naming fulfilled needs

  • love
  • proud
  • warmth
  • Becoming a mom and dad
  • Create Memories
  • birth
  • pregnancy

Acknowledging and naming unmet needs

  • grief
  • fear
  • anger
  • frustration
  • disappointment
  • guilt

Helping parents make their own right choice

Give them all the information they need to make the right choices, but don’t force anything. Every parent has their own story and their history and based on that they don’t want things or don’t want them.

Parents have completely lost control of their lives. Give them back control where (medically) possible. For example, let them think about the date of delivery. Some people want to wait a little longer to arrange some things, others want to give birth as soon as possible.

Share your own story

This can sometimes be very helpful if it makes the parent feel less alone or can make the right choices based on that.


If parents are anxious, instead of talking, it can help to just pretend and live by holding, talking to or lovingly caring for the baby. If you are open to parents taking over from you, you will see that this often happens. Give them space.


Some parents like this, other parents want the intended intention but in other words, so instead of congratulating, you say how beautiful the baby is and instead of condolences you can say how sorry you are. Do what suits you.

Make a distinction between medical and non-medical information

Many parents want to be informed about medical information in a concrete, clear, honest and to-the-point way. Clearly state why certain things are going the way they are and what the medical reason is for this. This often leads to understanding. If there is a choice, let parents choose. Give parents back control of their lives where possible

Deviate from protocols that apply to live infants

For example, if a father wants to take his deceased baby to his wife, who is in the recovery room after an emergency section, it does not necessarily have to be in a crib, but give the father the baby in his arms.


Justifying/clumsy remarks

  • Fortunately, you have other children.
  • You’re still young.
  • With this deviation he would not have had a nice life.
  • Fortunately, he did not live.
  • Fortunately, you haven’t been able to attach yet.
  • I don’t have any children of my own.

Fill in for the parents

Don’t make decisions for parents. Let them choose for themselves. Don’t just put on a hat because the head isn’t pretty, don’t dress the baby quickly because it looks nicer. Don’t cut the umbilical cord yourself because it’s more convenient.


This point is in the do’s but also in the don’ts. Some parents don’t like it at all and even find it painful to be congratulated. But almost every parent likes to hear how beautiful the baby is. Instead of offering condolences, you can say how sorry you are. Do what suits you.

Share your own story

This is not possible if you share the story to process or determine something yourself. It can or if the parent feels that they no longer feel heard because of your story. So it is only possible if it is functional.