Etiquette is probably one of the last things on your mind if you’ve experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Certainly, taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally is your highest priority right now. But there may come a time you decide to send out an announcement about your baby’s death to friends and family.
Here you’ll find some suggested wordings for loss announcements of many kinds.
Announcing a Miscarriage or Stillbirth
If you’ve already told people you’re pregnant, it may be easier to send out an announcement, either by mail or e-mail to let everyone know at once that you’ve miscarried.
Below you'll find some suggestions for how to announce your loss. While each is tailored to a specific type of loss, each could be adapted for your personal needs.
- We lovingly honor the memory of our son/daughter, (name)
Born: date and time
Died: date and time
- It is with heavy hearts we announce we are no longer expecting a child. Our son/daughter was lost to miscarriage on (date). Thank you for your care and support during this difficult time.
- Thank you for all your well wishes on my pregnancy. I’m deeply sad to tell you I’ve miscarried. There will be a small memorial service on (date) at (location). We’d love to have you with us as we honor the memory of our baby.
- We wished for a baby, but God gave us an angel instead. Our precious (name) was called to Heaven on (date). Thank you for your prayers and support.
We would like to announce the birth and death of our sweet son/daughter (name), on (date). He/she was a beautiful, perfect baby who will always live on in our hearts. We take comfort in knowing (name) is now watching over us from beyond.
Please feel free to talk to us about (name), who we wish to remember as the child we love, not a secret to be kept silent. We know our hearts will take time to heal and we appreciate your care and support in our grief.
If you’re the type of person who has an extensive social life on Facebook, Twitter, or blogging, you may have announced your pregnancy to hundreds of people already. To avoid well-intensioned, but potentially hurtful questions about your pregnancy in the weeks and months to come, you may want to post an announcement about your loss on those same social networks.
Any of the suggestions above may work for your social networks.
In social networking, you also have the opportunity to provide links to helpful information. Some ideas are: websites (like miscarriage.about.com) that explain the type of loss you’ve been through, or the cause of your loss, a link to a miscarriage support group or research organization working to prevent pregnancy loss, or even a link to a page about what friends/family can do or should/should not say to you during this time. Just keep in mind that some of your friends may not see or notice your post about the miscarriage (particularly your friends who don't get online that much), and may ask later about your pregnancy.
Thank You Cards for Shower Gifts
In the case of late losses, especially near-term or term stillbirths, you may have already had a baby shower. You may have set up a nursery with the gifts you received. Maybe you didn’t have a chance to send out thank you cards before tragedy struck. Should you send them now? People will certainly be understanding if you don’t. However, it may be an opportunity to share the news about your baby and announce your intentions with your shower gifts.
Here are some sample thank you notes:
- You may have already heard that our son/daughter, (name) has passed on. We thank you for your generous gift for his/her baby shower, and we want you to know we intend to keep the gifts in expectation of our next child. We appreciate your love and support during this heartbreaking time.
- We want to thank you for your generous gift to our baby, (name), who passed away on (date). It means so much to us to remember the love and support of our friends and family during this time of such sadness. We would be happy to return your gift to you if you wish, or donate it in his/her memory to (name) charity.
- Including a photograph or footprint from your baby can help your loved ones connect with your child as a person.
- Don’t feel constrained by any of the suggestions on this page. If you prefer something more casual, trust your instincts.
- If you are looking for a pre-printed announcement, you may be disappointed by the selections available for birth announcements. A blank notecard, or even stationary from the wedding department may have a more appropriate look for the mood you want.
- Sharing your loss may help other women in your life feel more comfortable talking about their own losses, and there is no substitute for the support of someone who has “been there.”