PARENTS

Ask Joanne: How Can I Support My Friend Who Had A Stillbirth?

03/03/2010 23:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

What's your dilemma about any aspect of life as a parent? Our experienced life coach Joanne Mallon is here to answer your questions. Send your questions in here and say if you'd like your name to be changed.

AJ writes:

My friend was pregnant but she had a stillbirth a month back and is determined to get pregnant again. She only thinks about having another baby. She has changed, is aggressive towards everyone and blames all her friends and family because she is trying for another baby but it's not happening for her.

She is different with me because I'm due to have a baby in a couple months, which wasn't planned. She has asked to be at my labour but I don't think she has got over her first born child. Do you think i should let her be and try for another baby or should I try and talk to her about it?

Here's the life coach's reply:

Dear AJ

What a terribly sad thing to happen. She's lucky to have a good friend like you.

Given the huge loss that your friend has experienced, I think you have to be extra forgiving of her behaviour right now. Her behaviour may have altered but she still needs people to love her. Anger is a natural part of the grieving process.

Do talk to your friend about how she's feeling, but more importantly listen. Tell her that you're there for her, whether she wants to talk or not. This is a difficult situation to approach, especially given that you are heavily pregnant. However, many people find grief so hard to cope with that they don't mention it at all, and this is probably the worst thing to do. I get the sense that you are not sure if she's doing the right thing in trying for a baby so soon, but she's unlikely to pay any attention if you tell her this.

There's an excellent charity for peple who have experienced a stillbirth called Sands. They have local groups all around the UK, online message boards and a national helpline on 020 7436 5881. Perhaps your friend would take a look at their website as they do offer lots of free support from people who have experienced the death of a baby.

As to letting her be present at your birth, is this something that you would have considered if she had not had the stillbirth? Is this what you really want to do? Is your baby's dad involved and likely to be there also? Check with your midwife as to what the policy is about birth partners at the place you intend to give birth. Many hospitals have restrictions on this and you may be limited in terms of the number of people you can have at your bedside.

Good luck with your pregnancy.

very best wishes,

Joanne

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