Coping with loss
When a baby dies, it is a tragedy and one of the most devastating things that can happen to any parent. It usually comes as a shock and many parents have a great need for answers. If you are reading this because your baby has died as the result of a group B Strep infection, we are so sorry for your loss. You may find it useful to read our leaflet ‘Understanding your baby’s group B Strep infection’ (click here) as it provides guidance to parents if their child has been affected by group b Strep infection.
We are here to offer our support. Our helpline is not able to offer a counselling service but we will listen and try to answer any questions you might have.
If you would like to talk to someone confidentially you can call our Helpline on 01444 416176 or e-mail us at [email protected].
Talking about your loss
Talking and sharing your feelings with others really can help. Some people find that relying on the support of family and friends is the best way for them, others find speaking with someone outside immediate family and friends is more helpful.
You might find it helpful to talk with another family who has experienced something similar. You might want to talk with another Mum, or another Dad. It can help to know that you are not alone and they may understand in a way that others simply can’t. You may also want to ask practical questions of others who are or who have been in a comparable situation.
Group B Strep Support can put you in touch with other families happy to share their experiences with you. Please get in touch with us on 01444 416176 or [email protected] if you would like to reach out to other families in this way.
Do consider bereavement counselling – it can be very important for Mums, Dads and siblings. Hospitals have specialist bereavement and information services that offer support, as well as information and referral to appropriate community support agencies. They will be able to help you with practical issues and the next steps. The midwife, health visitor and GP will also be able to help with support and signposting.
Many parents will find creating memories of their baby helpful – not only at the time, but also in the days, weeks and years to come. Some parents find it helpful to have photos of their baby around their home. Others like to create a memory box, including photos, and also perhaps hand/foot prints, a lock of hair, the baby’s hospital tag, a scan photo, baby clothes, or notes of your and others’ thoughts about the baby or the pregnancy. All this can help you and your family to remember your baby and can, over time, help you come to terms with your loss.
If you want to find some special way of remembering your baby then for some ideas from others who have found them helpful click here.
If you decide to have another baby, the memories of your previous experiences plus anxiety about the health of your unborn baby can make it a challenging time.
Please remember that the chance of group B Strep affecting another baby is small. It is important that you tell your midwife, at booking, your complete obstetric history, including how group B Strep has impacted you and your baby. It is important group B Strep is flagged up from the outset so that you and your health professionals can ensure the potential risks presented by group B Strep are taken into account and, between you, ensure your care addresses and minimises them.
If you have any questions or concerns about your or your baby’s health during pregnancy, do speak with your midwife or obstetrician. They will be keen to address your concerns.
We can provide you with general information about group B Strep and what the latest national guidance is. We can lend a listening ear or put you in touch with other families who have had more children. We can’t, however, offer you medical advice – for that you need to see your health professionals.
It’s reassuring to know that we have heard of thousands of healthy babies born after an older sibling developed group B Strep infection.