Baby Care

3 Ways to Support Parents When A Baby Dies

Usually when a baby dies, it can be hard to know how to offer support to the grieving parents.

To be honest, what can we really do or say in the face of such sad occurrence? While no one can make the grief go away or bring the child back, there are several ways you can support your friends or family following such a tragic loss.

  1. Keep in touch

After visiting the family or calling them for the firs time, keeping in frequent touch with a friend or family member after their loss is one of the best ways of offering support. Sending Whatsapp messages or emails or even texts can be subtle ways of letting a friend know you’re thinking of them without them feeling like they need to respond.

  1. Be selective with your words

It’s really hard to know what to say to a parent when the unthinkable happens. Simple, genuine statements like, “I’m so sorry,” or “I’m here for you,” are safe choices. I know most Nigerians will also say, ‘God will give you another one’ or ‘The child that will stay is coming’ etc

Holding a hand, touching a shoulder, giving a hug is the same thing as saying, “I’m here. I care.” By letting parents talk about their pain, you can help them come to grips with it.

You shouldn’t assume that parents “don’t want to talk about it.” And it’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say” – it’s honest, and it opens the door for the parents to share their feelings.

Some words that help include;

  • “I’m sorry.”
  • “What can I do for you right now?”
  • “I’m here. I want to listen.”
  • “This must be hard for you.”

On the other hand these well-intentioned statements cause resentment or prevent the expression of grief;

  • “You’re young, you can have others.”
  • “You have an angel in heaven.”
  • “This happened for the best.”
  • “Better for this to happen now, before you knew they baby.”
  • “There was something wrong with the baby anyway.”
  • “Don’t be sad. Don’t cry.”
  • “Don’t dwell on this. Just put it behind you.”
  1. Be patient

Those who have never experienced a loss may find it very difficult to understand how a mother can grieve and mourn for so long. But the truth is that a loss like this, stays with a mother for a lifetime.

Also because grief affects everyone differently, it’s impossible to know how parents will react to their baby’s death. But most people go through multiple phases of powerful emotions that may be hard for you to understand. So keep this in mind and even though parents had little, if any time to “know” the child, the parental attachment is still strong. This attachment can begin even before conception, as parents dream of the baby’s first birthday or Christmas or Ramadan etc.. So when a baby dies, parents lose a future they looked forward to sharing with that child. Realize that the death of a child means your friend/family member won’t ever get over their loss although they will get through it. Respect the parent’s rights to express whatever they feel or think – regardless of how strange it may seem to you. Give them time to grieve. Most of all, accept them for who and what they are, parents. Being a compassionate witness to your their grief is one of the best ways you can help.

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The Dangerous Impact Sugar Could Have On Your Baby’s Brain

Kids have sweet-tooth so they are so in love with sweet things but you shouldn’t indulge them all the time. To parents who often pamper their kids with sweet things, you might want to read this article  so you can be motivated to reduce the amount of sugar your child takes.

A new research published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience says that sugar might have the same impact on a child’s brain as psychological trauma.

Content of the study

Australian and Indian researchers set out at the beginning of their study with a hypothesis: could foods high in sugar and fat assist in regenerating a hippocampus damaged by stress.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for short- and long-term memories and your sense of direction. And when it is exposed to stress, conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may set in.

The researchers examined newborn rats who had stress-damaged hippocampi due to poor nesting. In order to see if sugar and fat could ‘heal’ this damage, different groups of the rats were exposed to diets containing various amounts of sugar and fats — and the extreme opposite of the researchers’ original hypothesis was shown to be true.

What they discovered was that sugar (as well as stress) reduced the re-growth of damaged brain cells in the hippocampus by more than 40%, also affecting the ability to learn new things.

What this means is that, consuming too much sugar may result in serious psychiatric issues, similar to those caused by extreme stress.

And even though this study was conducted on rats, the authors caution that “if similar effects occur in humans, early life adversity and high sugar diet may independently increase the risk for psychopathology later in life.”

It was also noted that “limiting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages across the community may be an effective way to curtail the burden of psychiatric disorders.”

So yeah the study was conducted on rats but would you risk it when there’s a way around it? Simply treating your children to sweet things on rare occasions will do.

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