This Mother's Day, mums who are grieving the loss of a pregnancy or baby need the support of their loved ones more than ever, with social distancing restrictions leaving many feeling isolated and alone.

Although you may not be able to meet face-to-face right now, there are some simple ways you can show your support that will make a real difference to a bereaved mum's experience of this bittersweet day:

  • Reach out to simply acknowledge that the day may be a painful one for her. A thoughtful card, or even a heart emoji in a text message, will help her know that her pain has been recognised. 

  • Acknowledge that she is still a mother. Many women struggle with their identity as a mother after the death of their baby. For mums without any living children in their arms, it's especially important to let her know you recognise her as a mother, even though her child has died. An example: 'Jackson was so lucky to have you as his Mum'.

  • Speak her child's name. Most bereaved mums say that they love hearing their baby's name and having opportunities to talk about their baby. This acknowledges that their baby was real and that their grief matters. Don't be afraid you'll upset her by turning the conversation this way.
  • Don't try to make her feel better. Accept that it's OK for this to be a difficult or emotional day for her. Trying to minimise her pain by focusing on the positives minimises her grief and compounds her sense that there is something wrong with feeling this way. It's OK to acknowledge sadness and the best thing you can do is to bear witness to the love and grief she feels for her baby.

  • Encourage her to listen to her mind and body. Some mums will want to hide away until the day is over. Others will want distraction through activity or conversation. However she wants to spend the day, let her know it's OK.

If you know a bereaved mum in need of extra support this Mother's Day, please encourage her to call, email or chat online to a Sands volunteer parent supporter.