An Atlanta Attorney Offers Best Ways to Find Comfort After Losing a Baby in the Womb
For many mothers-to-be, finding out that they’ll give birth to a child is often a happy experience. However, discovering that a baby has died in the womb can devastate those who are impacted – the mother, father, siblings, and other relatives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stillbirths usually occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy and affects one percent of pregnancies (roughly 24,000 babies) across the United States.
They are classified either as:
- Early – occurring between 20 and 27 weeks of pregnancy
- Late – occurring between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy
- Term – occurring between 37 weeks and birth
Any mother can experience a stillbirth, but according to the CDC, those who are the most at risk include:
- Black maternal patients
- Maternal patients ages 35 or older
- Maternal patients from a low socioeconomic status
- Those who smoke during pregnancy
- Those with certain medical conditions
- Maternal patients giving birth to triplets or quadruplets
- Those who have previously had a stillbirth
Coping with the loss of a child
One maternal patient, who gave birth to a stillborn baby in 2010, learned that her son-to-be no longer had a heartbeat four days past her due date, according to a New York Times article.
In the time between learning the tragic news and her birth, the patient searched for answers online. She asked the following questions:
- What would it be like to give birth to a baby who wasn’t alive?
- How would he look?
- What did other people do?
What she ended up finding were videos posted by parents that memorialized stillborn children. These videos helped her cope.
In addition, she considered family photographs with the stillborn courtesy of charity photography group Now I Law Me Down to Sleep. The patient and her husband had the memory photographed.
“At least we’d have a memory, to acknowledge that he did exist," she said. "They dressed him, made casts of his feet and hands, they also made the foot and handprints.”
The patient, who refers to herself as a “mamarazzi,” documents as much of her children’s lives as she can in photos and videos. In order to remember and document the death of her baby son, a YouTube video was created.
A research paper in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying analyzed 50 YouTube videos involving stillbirth memorials. They usually range from about 5.5 minutes and follow a similar script.
The first parts usually show family footage during pregnancy and prior to the tragic news. The middle often depicts a more somber tone, usually in black and white. The last parts usually include photos of the stillborn baby, religious imagery, a mournful song, and a family portrait.
Marie-Frédérique Bacqué, author of the study, defines the formulaic nature of these videos as “cathartic” and a “virtual cemetery for parents experiencing stillbirth.”
The videos provide a feeling of comfort to those who are grieving the loss of a baby.
“The sameness is a way to normalize the death." Bacqué said. "It is very important for people to say ‘I’m normal. Yes, I have lost a child. But I’m normal.’”
Your legal options following a stillbirth
There is nothing more devastating to a mother-to-be than losing a baby. If you or a loved one experienced a stillbirth, you may be looking for answers and possible causes.
An experienced and compassionate birth injury lawyer at Tyrone Law Firm, P.C. can help you and your family during these difficult times. Our legal team will look for clues of medical negligence. Perhaps a doctor or other medical professional involved in your pregnancy failed to identify a risk factor, provide preventative treatment, or follow proper procedure before or during delivery.
Let Tyrone Law Firm, P.C. handle your case while you mourn the loss of your child. Contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.