Not so long ago, doctors and nurses were really convinced that it was better not to see your baby if he had died. Parents were told that otherwise they would “just get attached” or “What they haven’t seen, isn’t there.”
It also happened that parents who lost their baby were not told whether it was a boy or girl, did not name their child and never saw it. Their baby was not allowed to be buried in Catholic cemeteries because it had not been baptized and ended up behind the hedge. People never talked about the deceased baby again, and sometimes married couples never talked about it again. It became a very lonely sadness because of this.

Jan Bleyen has researched this and written the book Stillborn . The book is about how people and institutions have dealt with a lifeless birth over the years and how parents try to process this.
In 2012 Jan Bleyen talks about the creation of his book in the VPRO program “Boeken op zondag“.

Anneke Avis wrote the book “And silence was the answer”.
She interviewed mothers and fathers who lost a child around birth in the period 1945-1970.
The parents talk about how, against the backdrop of the post-war years, they experienced the loss of their baby. The best thing to do was to carry on as if nothing had happened, doctors, family and environment thought. There was hardly any room for mourning and grief. Unbelievable now, very common at the time.
What was medical care like at that time? Doctors and midwives talk about the fate of these children and how psychosocial care made its appearance in obstetrics and neonatology, where previously only medical-somatic expertise counted.
The stories show how mothers and fathers carry this drastic event with them throughout their lives, sometimes with far-reaching consequences.
Paediatrician-neonatologist Joke Kok wrote the foreword.

“After I gave birth, there was nothing. No casket, no funeral, nothing to remind him of. Nowadays people have a place, but I don’t have a place.” Sweater Verwers

In the broadcast of Jacobine on Sunday on December 9, 2018, Anne-Marie Vermaat talks about her son Bart, who was born silent 51 years ago and whom she has never seen. Corien van Zweden also talks about her sister who died at birth in 1960 and the impact this had on her parents. She wrote the book “The Art of Mourning”.

In March 2019, Zin magazine published four beautiful stories of mothers who lost their newborn babies for 20, 30, 40 and 50 years, chronicled by Margreet Botter.

In November 2015, Radio 1 broadcast the radio documentary: “There is an angel behind the hedge”.
Part 1
Part 2

There are more and more cemeteries that put up a monument or a memorial especially for these children so that parents still have a place to go.