What People Say
The death of your child has also affected friends and relatives. They may feel worried about you and the new baby. Sometimes they will not know what to say or do and sometimes their comments may hurt. But do try to keep your friendships going – don’t let barriers arise between you. You are the ‘experts’ about your own family, so you are the ones to make the decision about whether and when to have another child.
Occasionally, if friends and relatives have no knowledge about grief and loss, they may assume that your grief will disappear and you will be fine again when a subsequent child is born. They may need a gentle reminder that you are not replacing your child who has died and that your love for that child, and your grief, will always be a part of your life.
“We always wanted a large family, but we didn’t know what other people would say if we had another child. We worried too much about what other people would think. Other people don’t understand what we are going through.”
“Our parents especially were not overjoyed at the news that we were pregnant again. They were scared for us because they had no control over what may happen again. However, in hindsight I can understand their concerns. They do not regret our decision now as they have a beautiful and healthy grandson that they adore and cherish.”
“Some people, who were really close to us, said we were not ready to have another baby. I realised that they actually meant that they were not ready to take that risk of loving another one of our children… but now they share in the joy the children have brought.”
“I will never forget someone very close to us saying how disappointed they were in us. That made me very angry but all the more determined to be happy and make it work.”
“The infant welfare sister would ask ‘Is she sleeping through the night yet’ and I would say ‘No and I won’t let her’… She sleeps through the night now – she’s 6.”
“It made me upset when people presumed we would be disappointed when all our subsequent children were girls, after a losing a boy. All we wanted were happy, healthy children.”
This article was prepared using extracts from Another Baby? The Decision is Yours.1 The full text is available online or contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Services on 1300 308 307 for a printed version.
Last reviewed: 4/7/20
1. Bereaved Parents & SIDS and Kids Victoria. (2003). Another Baby? The Decision is Yours: A Booklet for Parents Whose baby or Young Child has Died and are Considering having Another Child. Malvern, Vic.: SIDS and Kids.