Consenting to an Autopsy
In order to determine the cause of death, an autopsy may be suggested by the doctor. In some places it is mandatory, in others it is not. It can be very helpful to know what caused the baby's death. Knowing the cause helps the parents understand that it may not have been anything they could have changed or anything they did wrong.
Parents often blame themselves for the stillbirth, so if it is possible to determine a cause then the parents can process their grief without blame. The results of the autopsy are given to the parents after it is completed.
Birth is Birth
There is still a recovery period for the mother after a stillbirth. Heavy bleeding and the filling of the breasts with milk are part of the post-birth process. Drugs to dry the milk, a proper fitting bra and cold packs can help as the milk dries up and the swelling in the breasts recedes. The time at home can be very difficult as the parents recover from their loss. Counseling and information are important facets of the healing process.
Beginning the Healing Process
Friends and family can do a lot to help parents through this most tragic time. In a very real way, nobody can take the pain of the loss away, but they can provide love, hope, understanding and the same kind of support one would give for any other loss of a loved one.
The emotions and pain are very real and are a normal part of the grieving process. It takes time to process the loss, the associated pain, and the questions. It can take time - sometimes a very long time for the family to grieve and heal.
However long it takes, it is vitally necessary for them to work through the pain and into healing. Unresolved pain and the issues of loss that are not resolved can potentially cause serious emotional and physical problems for a couple in the future.