Guidance for Partners & Dads

LOLA recognises that not all partners will be dads. Some parents will be same sex couples, partners who have not given birth may well be mums themselves, and some families may involve mixed family parenting.

Whatever your family looks like, LOLA hopes to provide support and assistance to all parents who are trying to find a way to manage their own intense grief, while at the same time, support a mum who has delivered a stillborn child.

Looking after Yourself

It is important to remind you to look after yourself. If you don’t make - even a little - time for yourself.

This can be really tough. It is likely you’ll be just doing the best you can for your wife or partner, and tempted to forget your own needs. But it will become impossible for you to take the best possible care of her, and any other dependents who rely on you, if you don’t take care of you.

Here at LOLA, partners and dads can access support with Mindfulness to help calm their own grieving minds, and also get practical tips on managing sleep if that’s a problem for you right now. The information on Healing Therapies may also be useful for you to look at and get a feel for what therapies you might find helpful to keep your body and mind going, for yourself and so that you can be there for those who rely on you. Under Helpful Information you can also find information on various charities who offer additional support for you and your partner as well as the Stories of other dads who have been where you are now.

Looking after your Partner

You may also find it helpful to read the page we’ve set up for Mums and the Stories of mums who have experienced the loss of a baby, to get some more information on how your wife or partner may be feeling right now.

It is also important to remember the loss of a child is an enormous strain on you both. There may be times when you experience exhaustion or anger that is difficult for you to deal with. You may also cope very differently following the loss of your child, and that can be hard for both of you. Our information on Talking Therapies may be useful to you in finding ways to manage this.

Coping with Other People

Dads and partners are more likely to have responsibility following the loss of a baby for liaising with other people, whether that is family members, friends, or work colleagues. This can be difficult and time consuming and you may find it helpful to ask those you are closest to, in your immediate network, to contact others for you so that you cut down the number of messages, and responses, you have to deal with.

Other things to Manage

You may also take initial responsibility for many of the practical things in connection with the loss of your baby. Here at LOLA we have tried to help you with some of this, by giving you practical guidance on how to prepare for the delivery of your baby when you find out in advance that your baby has died, and planning a funeral following the loss of your baby. We also offer some guidance on the future, including returning to work for you and your partner.

Other Resources

There are many incredible charities already offering great support to partners and dads who are suffering following the loss of a baby and the Booklet  by the leading stillbirth charity, SANDS may be helpful. There are also a number of resources on this website which may hopefully help in various ways and SANDS offer a Bereavement App which you can find here.

A Father’s GriefBy Eileen Knight Hagemeister

It must be very difficult 
To be a man in grief. 
Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong" 
No tears can bring relief. 

It must be very difficult 
To stand up to the test. 
And field calls and visitors 
So that she can get some rest. 

They always ask if she's alright 
And what she's going through. 
But seldom take his hand and ask, 
"My friend, how are you?" 

He hears her cry in the night 
And thinks his heart will break. 
And dries her tears and comforts her 
But "stays strong" for her sake. 

It must be very difficult 
To start each day anew. 
And try to be so very brave- 
He lost his baby too.