Funeral and aftercare

When the funeral is over and everything really seems to be done, this often marks the start of a difficult period. Only at this moment do you fully really realise what has happened, and how much your future has changed. You are often still on maternity leave, so you have plenty of time to think about what might turn into a period of brooding. Many parents still want to busy themselves with their baby and it’s so painful that they can’t do that anymore. We can give tips on what is still possible:

  • Creating/adjusting/sending out the birth announcement card
  • Creating a photo book
  • Editing the videos and making a remembrance film
  • Creating a Remembrance Book
  • Creating a souvenir box
  • Inviting friends and family to look at the pictures and talk about your baby
  • Reading books on infant mortality and loss
  • Listening to music 
  • Tracking social media channels related to baby mortality
  • Making the grave look beautiful
  • Creating a place to remember in your home with e.g. the urn
  • Picking a memorial trinket or ornament 
  • Seeking professional help: The hospital often offers help through medical social work. But outside the hospital you can also contact professional social workers and peers. Many mothers experience feelings of guilt and relationships can come under pressure because of the different ways of grieving. Even if you feel you do not need help, it may be advisable to seek out the appropriate form of counselling (or accept it if offered).

2.2.5 Aftercare organisations

Below you will find organisations/platforms that are there to help you with your loss.

Vlinderkindcafé (Butterfly Child Café)
 Twice-annual meeting for parents of deceased children, regardless of the length of pregnancy.

Lieve Engeltjes (Dear Angels)
An online peer-to-peer contact group for anyone who has to deal with the death of a (young) child. Contact is via e-mail.

OOK (Parents Deceased Child)
 A national self-help organisation by and for parents of a deceased child that offers recognition, comfort and perspective.

Kusje in de wind (Kiss in the Wind)
 From the book Kusje in de wind, written by Irene van Wesel after the death of her son Lieve*, an online community has emerged that supports and develops various projects for fellow sufferers. Earlier this year the book of poetry Kindje in mijn hart (Child in my hart) was published, especially for Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, in which all the children whose names had been submitted were mentioned. Throughout 2015, 33 parents have been active in the project ‘Liever bij mij…’ (‘Rather with me…’) to tell about their own child and the way in which loss is intertwined with their lives. ‘Liever bij mij…’ speaks, just like ‘Kusje in the wind, not just about mourning, grief and struggles but also about taking a child into your heart, love and pride. If you want to read more about the community and its publications, take a look here.

Stichting CZB (CZB Foundation)
 The Pregnancy Termination Contact Group (‘CZB’ in Dutch) is a peer group for parents who have terminated a desired pregnancy of a baby with a serious condition.

Wereldlichtjesdag (World Lights Day )
 Each 2nd Sunday in December, World Lights Day
 is held. On this day, at 19.00 hours, people all over the world light candles in memory of deceased children. It doesn’t matter how old the child was or how long ago it was. After all, your child remains your child! Forever in your heart and thoughts!

Troost.nl
Here you will find books to read, videos to watch, music to listen, cards to send, moments to be busy, comfort food recipes, fine quotes and (soft) tips.

Opa’s en oma’s van vlinderkindjes (Grandparents of butterfly children): Facebook group to share love and sorrow. The grief of grandparents is different from that of their children. This may be difficult to share with other people, who have not experienced the same thing. 

Praten over verlies (Talking about loss)
Praten over Verlies is a collaboration between funeral organisation Yarden and volunteer organisation Humanitas. Free and anonymous chatting with a volunteer or asking questions about problems related to loss and grief.

1001 lights
 Offers products and services around parting and mourning.

De troostboom (The consolation tree)
Offers mourning support to children (Den Bosch region).

Apps

Loss-app.nl (only for iPad)
Loss helps to find others and is a place for recognition and sharing experiences, insights and feelings. A place to comfort, support and inspire each other. Loss supports through simple exercises and insights. These increase your resilience and help you to be stronger in your shoes. Loss helps you to keep an eye on your mood and makes sure you ring the bell on time if you can’t get out of it yourself.

Books

On our book list you will find different books and films for yourself or to read to your other children. The loss of a brother or sister is also very profound for them and these books might help to talk about it and come to terms with it.

Professional healthcare providers

Vermaat and de Boer
Annemarie Vermaat and her daughter Hubertien van Heek can help you learn to deal with the consequences of your loss: at home and at work. In individual conversations (loss treatments) we pay attention to your loss and can explain what is going on.

Huber10 Coaching
The mission of Huber10 Coaching & Consulting is to help people enjoy their work again after a loss.

Janet Molewijk
Janet is a psychologist and grief counsellor and counsels people who experience various forms of loss, including pregnancy loss. She also brings her own experience with this.

Psyche and pregnancy
Psychological help in the event of loss around pregnancy and birth.

Hiske Kuilman coaching
Learning to live with a hole in your heart, tips and coaching to get your life back on track after losing your baby.

Yolanda Castellón
As a Life & Loss coach she helps parents who have lost their baby before, during or shortly after birth. “Together we transform the pain of loss and the endless love for your baby into strength to move on with life. 

Elk kind doet ertoe (Every child matters)             
Brenda Tiggeler offers specialised grief and loss counselling and EFT relationship therapy for parents who have lost a child.

Miskraam Begeleiding Nederland (Miscarriage Counselling Netherlands)
Miriam van Kreij counsels women who have had a miscarriage once or more. Or who lost their child during pregnancy in some other way. For some it was a few months ago, for others years ago. The counselling enables them to continue with confidence in their family and in their work.

Praktijk Juniper   Marijke Viskil is a grief and loss counsellor for child and family with special attention to loss during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Everyone deals with loss in his or her own way and at his or her own pace. Together we look at what is needed, so that you can continue with new courage. You are welcome with any problem you may have.

Zo graag een baby (So keen to have a baby)
In her practice, Nina Rang likes to focus mainly on women in the phase of life of looking to start a family. She is also the initiator and developer of a number of online coaching programmes for fertility problems and miscarriage processing. 

Vlindermama (Butterfly mummy)
Jeannette de Kruijk supports mothers who lost a baby during or after pregnancy. She herself has direct experience and can help you with your mourning, even if the loss is from years ago. The love for your baby never goes away and she likes to show you the beautiful side of life again, so that you can do what makes you happy. 

Several times a year, Ella Verloskundigen (‘Ella Midwifery’) in The Hague offers space to talk about the loss of your baby together with other women who have experienced the same.
It can be nice to share your grief in a familiar, private environment, to experience that you are not alone.
Mourning and loss counsellor, Annemieke Hillen, is present to guide the conversations, answer questions and provide tools to deal with your loss.
You can register via Verloskundigenpraktijk Ella tel 070-3606286 or e-mail to Annemieke:
contact@annemiekehillen.nl

These conversations are free of charge for Ella’s clients.  

Deining bij verlies en rouw organises the following free meetings in cooperation with the Amsterdam West Midwifery Association:
Out of expectation; loss of early pregnancy (Download the leaflet here)

Loss of a child in late pregnancy or around birth (Download the leaflet here the leaflet) 

Bright Blue Coaching and training
Jeannevan Mierlo helps and supports with loss in any form. 

Videos

Movements matter: it is important that you keep an eye on your baby’s movements during your pregnancy. It’s not just about how often your baby moves, but also about when, how long or how intense those movements are. Babies adopt a sleep-wake rhythm during pregnancy and it’s good to raise the alarm if the baby starts to deviate from it.

HELLP: The Hellp Foundation has made a video explaining 7 symptoms of PE/HELLP. 

Choosing Thomas: if you are told during pregnancy that your baby will die during or shortly after birth, that message cannot be understood. The parents of Thomas (USA) decide to carry the pregnancy forward and depict the five days Thomas is still alive in a penetrating and loving way.

How grief changes over time: ‘You don’t get over grief, you just learn to have it as part of your life.

Looking into the soul, part 1 and part
 2Coen Verbraak talks to people who have experienced what it is like to lose someone.

De Verwondering (The amazement)
Manu Keirse: no longer believes in mourning; you don’t process mourning, you survive your loss and you live with it.

Fatima Elatik: talks about the loss of her baby.

Marguerite de Beaufort: lost two of her five children and a third child became seriously ill. Yet her faith in life remains great.

Straight from the heart
Ellemijn Veldhuijzen van Zanten is an actress and columnist. She is the mother of six children, three of whom died shortly after birth. A story about love, motherhood and proud mourning.

‘It’s hard for me, too’: A letter from a grieving parent

Stillbirth is still birth

After
InezThe story of Denize and Filip, who are ready for the birth of their first child. The crib, the clothes and the stroller have been carefully selected and are ready for use. One last check-up with the midwife and their baby can come. Fate strikes out of nowhere. The midwife does not hear the baby’s heartbeat during this check-up and the young parents end up in a nightmare.

Radio 1 (Belgium) Touché
Two hour radio interview with Manu Keirse (04/06/2017). The links to listen back to the radio fragment are at the bottom of the page.

“The foundation of love” is the first video based on Kathy Beckers-Mansell’s book “Grieving after Losing Your Baby”. The book and the videos are part of the project “Grieving for the loss of a baby”, which was set up by the “Stichting Boeken van betekenis”. Kathy Beckers-Mansell is a mourning therapist and has her practice “MetJari” in Zoetermeer.

“About Bearing Mourning” is the second video based on Kathy Beckers-Mansell’s book “Grieving after Losing Your Baby”. 

“The New Family” is the third video based on Kathy Beckers-Mansell’s book “Grieving after Losing Your Baby”. 

“Seeing with the heart” is the fourth video based on Kathy Beckers-Mansell’s book “Grieving after Losing Your Baby”. 

“Drowner and beachcomber” is the fifth video based on Kathy Beckers-Mansell’s book “Grieving after Losing Your Baby”.