Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Ideas
There are many ways to honour your baby’s memory after miscarriage. Remembering may be the healthiest way to heal.
How can you commemorate the life of your baby, no matter how brief it was?
There is peace in creating a memorial for the baby you have lost in pregnancy or early infancy. There is joy in remembrance too. Parents find it comforting and helpful in their grieving process to honour the child who barely existed and yet meant the world to them. In so many ways, parents mark their loss and begin the grieving process and their path to healing. Whether it is a one-time ritual or a lifelong memorial, whether grief is kept personal or shared with close friends and family, there is definitely no right or wrong way to do it. Whatever it is that you do should be what feels right to you.
Here are some infant loss memorial ideas from other parents:
11 infant loss memorial ideas after a pregnancy loss
1. Name your baby
It does not matter whether you lost the baby at three weeks in the womb, or just after birth — the baby deserves a name. Some hospitals have a book of remembrance for babies lost in pregnancy and infancy. Some parents hold a naming ceremony, similar to a baptism. Giving the baby a name validates the baby’s existence and acknowledges the loss of a human being, a member of your family, rather than an “idea”. You can give the baby any name, regardless of gender.
2. Plant flowers, a shrub or a tree in your garden
You can also dedicate a whole garden to your baby. The plant, tree or garden represents the life lost and is a symbol of the continuity of life. It will be a “living” memorial that honors your baby. You can install a bronze or wooden plaque with the baby’s name on it as a beautiful dedication.
3. Choose a date to commemorate each year
On the anniversary of your miscarriage, or the baby’s due date, you can do something special to remember your baby, either privately or with your family or friends. You can light a candle, have a small ceremony that begins with prayers, followed by a dinner, or just have a quiet moment in the baby’s memory. Every year, Nichola Scott sends off balloons to the sky on the anniversary of her baby Zahra’s death. Since then, she has lit a candle during the Wave of Light on Baby Loss Awareness Day (every 15th of October), to honour her baby and all babies lost in pregnancy and infancy.
4. Frame an ultrasound photo or a photo of your baby bump to display with other family photos
A simple and sentimental memorial idea is to include ultrasound photos alongside your family photos. Cecilia, who experienced multiple miscarriages, kept all her ultrasound photos in a small album, which she carefully placed on her bedside table.
5. Choose a piece of memorial jewellery to wear all the time
Buy a piece of jewelry that includes your baby’s birthstone or create a piece that is engraved with your baby’s birthday or name. It could be a necklace, a birthstone ring, a bracelet, or an anklet — whatever you choose would be a meaningful commemoration. There are so many jewellers now that make custom pieces for a good price. You can even come up with your own design for them to make. There are also retailers who make remembrance jewellery to support the Miscarriage Association.
6. Write about your baby — and your loss
Some express their grief through poems, short stories, songs, blog posts, and even prayers. Others choose to memorialize their whole experience in a journal. Writing your feelings and thoughts down helps you process your grief as you transform abstracts into something concrete. There are also memorial pages you can join, to share your experiences and insights with others who may be going through the same grief journey, but do not have the words for what they are going through.
7. Create something
Paint, draw, knit or embroider a blanket or a pillow, sculpt, make a scrapbook — anything that will serve as a keepsake is ideal. The process of creation keeps your mind occupied, holding the sadness and loneliness at bay; the end result will serve as a loving memorial for your baby. Knowing that you did this on your own, through your grief journey, makes it even more meaningful.
8. Get inked
Many parents now choose to get a memorial tattoo as a permanent remembrance of their child. This marks a visible reminder for the parent, one that says the child will never be forgotten, and will always be a part of the parent’s life.
9. Make a donation to a charitable organization
Or hold a fundraising event for a charitable organization that advocates pregnancy awareness loss or any other relevant advocacy, if you have the means. Giving a donation to a non-profit organization in your baby’s name is a meaningful memorial that makes a difference to others who are in need.
10. Online memorial spaces
There are memorial spaces that mark the lives of babies lost in pregnancy or infancy, with messages attached to actual stars in the night sky. The Stars of remembrance is an online memorial that offers this. Similar sites such as Forget-me-not meadow and Lights of love tree. You simply provide the name and date and they will place a new star in the sky. The Miscarriage Association Website also welcomes parents to post their thoughts and feelings with a pledge or action, in a section called Days that Matter.
11. Or you do not have to mark your loss
If you do not want to use any infant loss memorial ideas to mark your loss, you do not have to. It is natural to feel that any kind of memorial will only make things worse, or maybe it just does not feel right for you. Remember that there are no right or wrong ways to deal with pregnancy loss and your grief.
These infant loss memorial ideas are just an example of how we all use tools that help to get us through a loss like this, or any kind of loss or pain for that matter. Artists paint, writers write, religious people pray, nature lovers plant trees — but some simply stay still and choose not to do anything. Find what comforts you, and that will carry you on to the road to healing.