If you are reading this as a bereaved parent, we are very sorry to hear of your loss.
The death of a baby is a truly devastating event for parents and families. Many bereaved parents describe feelings such as deep sadness, shock, anxiety, anger, guilt and fear. These and many other feelings are normal for parents who are grieving the loss of a baby. You may be concerned for others in your family. You may have many questions about what to do next, and where to seek support.
It may be that it’s some time since your baby died. No matter how long ago, many parents find there are times when it helps to reach out to someone who understands.
It’s important to know that support is available – and that different parents may have different needs at different times.
Below is a list of support services and online resources and information for parents and families in Australia whose baby has died. These links include services offering counselling, practical support, and information to assist you to make decisions during this difficult time.
For 24 hour support, please phone the Sands support line on 1300 072 637 or find online support at https://www.sands.org.au/online-support.
If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health support, please contact Lifeline on 131114. In an emergency, please call triple zero (000).
Bears of Hope, provides support to parents whose baby has died during pregnancy or infancy. The Bears of Hope website includes a Parent Information area that offers information and support on various topics.
Topics include preparing for birth, funeral arrangements, coping with depression, and many more. Visit the link below for more.
Heartfelt is a volunteer organisation of professional photographers across Australia and New Zealand. Heartfelt photographers give the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature births or have children with serious and terminal illnesses.
You can request a photographer via the Heartfelt website. Visit the link below for more.
Red Nose has a dedicated Grief and Loss website called 'Guiding Light' for parents and families experiencing the sudden or unexpected death of a baby or young child.
The website contains general articles on grief and loss, and dedicated Support Libraries for grandparents, parent supporters, and professionals. Information about work entitlements (e.g. leave entitlements and Centrelink) is also provided.
Red Nose also offers 24/7 telephone support and local support services across various locations in Australia. Visit the link below for more.
Sands Australia provides support to bereaved parents after miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, medical termination, stillbirth, or newborn death. Written information resources are available on the Sands website.
You can also access 24/7 telephone support through Sands' National Support Line, access online live chats with Sands' Volunteer Parent Supporters, seek email support, and find out about face-to-face support groups in your area. Visit the link below for more.
Sands Fathers Support Services provide an opportunity to speak with another dad who has also experienced the loss of a baby. Male volunteers offer support to bereaved fathers and grandfathers, as well as other family members who would like to better understand grief from a male perspective.
The Stillbirth Foundation Australia has collated the experiences of many Stillparents. The Foundation has put together a range of online facts sheets and support resources. A range of topics are covered, such as "Is there a right way to grieve?", "Will our relationship change?", and "How can I help my other children cope?".
Support for wider families and friends, and for care providers, is also covered. Visit the link below for more.