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What you can do for yourself when a family member's or friend's baby has anencephaly

 

If at first you are unable to reach out to the grieving parents, be patient with yourself. You, too, are grieving.

Allow time and space for your own emotional needs.

To better understand what you and the parents are going/will go through, read about grief. Read about anencephaly.

Our pastor printed out the pamphlet about anencephaly, so people at our church could understand what kind of condition Laura was really at.
Veronica, mom to Laura

Find a friend, support group, clergy, or counselor with whom you can talk freely.

Keep a journal, this is self-therapy for grieving.

Allow yourself to cry. Studies have shown the healing power of tears, and crying should not be suppressed as this is a natural part of the grieving process.

Accept the unacceptable. This does not mean that you understand why death struck, or that you are forgetting the dead baby.

Take walks or work out. Physical exertion is a great stress reliever and may afford you some time alone to gather your thoughts in the process.

Eat well, it is important to eat healthy foods and maybe take vitamin supplements.

 

Last updated 12 October 2007