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Depressed mother /stillbirth

(15 Posts)
chattykathy Fri 16-Aug-19 12:27:53

My mum of 80 has suffered with depression and anxiety on and off all her adult life, the last 'bout' for the last 20 years. My siblings and I do our best to support her but she has resisted help until recently she has opened up about having a stillbirth at the age of 21 (1960), we have always known this but it was never discussed She was 8 months pregnant when the baby girl died inside her. In those days it seems there was no bereavement support, the baby was whisked away and the hospital dealt with the 'funeral'. Mum really has no idea of what happened afterwards. Do any of you happen to know of any support mum could have now? All the groups I've found on the internet are for women who have lost babies recently.

paddyann Fri 16-Aug-19 12:34:43

SANDS will offer help to all women who have lost babies.Many dont feel able to seek help until they are much older .They/we are of a generation that was told to forget and try again .They also have a yearly service and if you cant make it they will arrange for a candle to be lit for your lost baby and his/her name enetered in the book.
There are SANDS groups in ost areas now ,so give them a call and someone will help.All the women who work with them have experienced stillbirth and neonatal death so they understand .I hope your mum finds some peace .

Septimia Fri 16-Aug-19 12:38:34

I don't know about support, but the idea of the memorial service and lighting a candle sounds helpful.

Or maybe you and your siblings could arrange something of the sort near to where your mum lives. Some sort of ceremony - did the baby have a name? If not, would she like to name it? (I named the baby I miscarried and felt better for doing so. ) Something to make sure that the baby's existence isn't simply forgotten but that it is part of your family.

paddyann Fri 16-Aug-19 12:38:59

Until this year they have also had balloon releases ,environmental issues have stopped them At risk of getting my knuckles severely rapped here I can say they were a tremendous help in letting go some of the emotions surrounding a lost baby .Maybe your SANDS group will find another way ,

EllanVannin Fri 16-Aug-19 13:15:45

In the cemetery near me there's a beautiful part of the grounds commemorating those babies who were stillborn or who'd only lived for a few hours. It's such a lovely peaceful area with many names attached and I imagine a great comfort for parents to come and visit as part of their healing.

It's got to be the saddest time of all to lose a baby x

chattykathy Fri 16-Aug-19 13:21:30

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I will contact our local SANDS and encourage mum. You're right it must have been terribly sad and she had me and my baby sister to look after as well. My late DF wouldn't have been much support either, he wasn't a kind man. Thank you all again.

Nonnie Fri 16-Aug-19 13:31:35

The Compassionate Friends will support her. They are an organisation set up to help anyone who has lost a child of any age. We went to their 50th anniversary service at Coventry Cathedral and there were many names read out of babies who didn't make it. They have meeting but also one to one counselling and are happy to take your call. My aunt got a lot of comfort from them. Good luck

chattykathy Fri 16-Aug-19 15:11:31

Thank you Nonnie

Dawn22 Sat 17-Aug-19 13:18:19

Your Mother is lucky to have such a kind family to help her. Not everyone has that. D

Hithere Sat 17-Aug-19 13:51:28

I am so sorry for her loss.

It is never too late to go to grief therapy. She deserves to be happy

paddyann Sat 17-Aug-19 14:02:10

SANDS will also be able to help her find where her baby was buried,thats the one thing that helps a lot of older women after years of feeling they failed their baby by not organising a funeral. NOT that it was their fault it was hospital policy then for the "disposal of remains" was their resposibility and many women wouldn't have dared to say they wanted to organise it themselves .

CaroDane Thu 22-Aug-19 22:50:29

This happened to me twice so I understand exactly how your mum feels.
Don't know if you have any religious affiliation, we're Catholic. I enrolled both my children's names in a Perpetual Mass Association, so I have beautiful Mass cards for them and have something physical to remember them both by. It doesn't matter what religion she is, or if she has any, but perhaps she could do the same and enrol the baby with the name she intended for them.
It doesn't matter how old you are, your children are always part of you, regardless of whether or not they died before birth or after. God bless your mum and may she find comfort.

Tedber Sun 25-Aug-19 18:51:38

So sad that your mum has had to bottle this up for so long.
I agree that SANDS are wonderful and would encourage you to contact them in first instance.

Just one thing struck me that Paddyann said. I really doubt they could help you find where your sister was buried because as horrible as it is I don't think she would have been buried. Babies born not breathing weren't (and I don't think they are still) registered.

Times have moved on and more consideration is given to parents of still-born children who are able to bury their babies but not sure...back then? Not spelling it out but don't get your mum's hopes up there.

paddyann Sun 25-Aug-19 19:26:09

Hospitals kept records of where stillbirths are buried,at least in Scotland they do ,generally on a mass grave site mbut its better than not knowing .Our local SANDS has found several burial sites for mothers from the 60's and 70's .Births before 24 weeks were considered miscarriages so they may not be included

agnurse Mon 26-Aug-19 19:27:03


I cannot speak to UK laws, but in the Canadian province where I live, stillbirths after 20 weeks are required to be registered. There is a provincial notice of birth that is filled out by the staff at hospital. (A baby born deceased prior to 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage and is not registered.)