There is little anyone can say or do to help ease the pain of losing a baby or child. It is a time of unbearable anguish and sorrow that no parent ever forgets. 

And yet experience has shown that what happens at the hospital or in the community, when a baby or child is dying or has died, can have lifelong repercussions. It can affect the parents’ grieving process as well as their ability to resume their life following bereavement. (Worden 2009)

This matieral is based on the reflections of parents whose baby or child died, and what they found to be helpful and unhelpful to them in their interactions with doctors and other professionals.

Key points

  • Time of unbearable anguish and sorrow
  • The way things are dealt with at the hospital or in the community can have enduring repercussions (Worden 2009)
  • This programme is based on reflections of parents whose baby or child died.


This material draws on the experiences of families and professionals. We wish to acknowledge the courageous and generous contributions of families. We believe it is so important to listen to, and learn from, families’ experiences, such as through parent focus groups.

This material may touch your own loss experiences, whether death-related or otherwise, and evoke powerful emotions. Parents report that doctors who understand these difficult situations help the most.

Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK offers a range of further training courses for doctors and healthcare professionals that explore the subject in greater depth. We go further than is possible in this programme to develop your personal and interpersonal skills.

See our resources for professionals working in health and social care or find our more about the training we provide.

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