A new baby is supposed to be a time of happiness and excitement. No father expects their baby to die. 

You may be feeling numb, shocked, disappointed, confused, sad or angry.

Perhaps you are feeling inadequacy or guilt about the reasons behind your baby’s death, or maybe you are struggling to accept the fact there is no medical explanation for why it happened.

Bereaved fathers commonly experience intense emotions like these, but sometimes try to block these out in order to protect their partner and keep their everyday life functioning.

“ I was torn between wanting to fix things and be there for my partner, and also needing time to heal myself.” –  Aaron

It's crucial, however, that you give yourself time and space to grieve.

What this looks like will be different for each dad.

But one thing is for certain - there is no need to feel guilty for prioritising time spent working through your thoughts and emotions. 

Some fathers find it helpful to take a step back from work and social obligations to focus on their family at this time. You may like to explore options for parental leave, temporarily reducing your work hours, or other flexible working options to help you through the next few difficult months. 

If you are feeling alone and unsure about what comes next, Sands have support services specifically for dads that you can access no matter what kind of pregnancy loss your family has experienced or how long ago it was.

Access fathers' support services 

Our 'A Father's Grief' factsheet also provides information on coping with grief from a father's perspective. Click the image to download a copy.