Creating Memories

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During the days, weeks, months and years following the death of your baby, you may find comfort in the memorable moments and experiences you had with your baby, and the keepsakes received around the time of their birth.

These memories will play a vital role in dealing with your grief and can often become your greatest comfort. You can create lifelong memories of your baby in different ways, and the precious time you have together should be about doing what feels right for you and your family.

Take photographs: Memories fade over time and having photographs can provide a tangible image of your baby and help you to remember specific details, such as mum’s nose, your baby’s hair colour and other features. Take as many photographs as you can; you may like to take photos holding your baby, of your baby’s hands and feet, family photos, your baby with their siblings, you dressing and bathing your baby, your baby with special items such as a parent’s wedding ring or teddy bear, and photos of gifts received.

Name your baby: Naming your baby honours their life and can be very meaningful to many parents and families; it also allows you to grieve for the little person you have lost.

Take hand/footprints & 3D casts: Many hospitals have inkpads available to take impressions of your baby’s hands and feet. We encourage you to take a few sets as other family members such as grandparents may treasure receiving such a personal memento. You can also have 3D moulds taken of your baby’s hand or foot; your hospital should be able to recommend a local contact.

Birth/memorial announcements: Many parents have found that these announcements offer a way to honour their baby and let others know what has happened.

Bathe & dress your baby: You can choose to bathe your baby and choose a special outfit for your baby to wear.

Baby mementos: Ask for any items of significance to you and your baby, such as your baby’s cot card, ID bracelet, the tape used to measure their length, a nappy, a lock of their hair, blood pressure cuff, sats probe or clothing.

Hold a blessing, ceremony, funeral or memorial service:You may like to have someone bless your baby. This is also possible once your baby has passed away. Hospitals often have a priest or clergy available who can provide such a blessing. Holding a memorial service also allows parents, family and friends to honour the life of your baby, no matter how short. Parents of a multiple birth may choose to hold a service for the baby who has passed and a baptism for the surviving baby/babies. Memorial services do not have to be at a funeral home, other options include a church, park, your own home or that of relatives.

Journal writing:You may like to write down information from your baby’s stay in hospital or your thoughts and feelings. Writing them down may help you to remember details down the track that may be lost during such an emotional time. Some parents have written poetry and songs about their experiences.

See, hold, touch & kiss your baby: Seeing, holding, touching and kissing your baby creates a special memory of your time spent together. You can spend as much time as you like getting to know your baby, holding hands, stroking their hair and kissing their face. You may wish to be surrounded by family and friends, and you can invite siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends to meet and share your baby. You can tell your baby how much you love them, and share your hopes and dreams…

"What is part of us for however long, is us and will forever be." - Unknown

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].