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Naming Babies Lost to Miscarriage or Stillbirth

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Updated May 04, 2009

As a part of coping with miscarriage or stillbirth, some grieving parents find that it helps to give the baby a name. They may feel that this acknowledges the personhood of the lost baby and validates his or her existence, or they may simply feel that giving the baby a name is a natural part of remembering the baby.

Similarly, others choose not to name their babies, especially if the miscarriage happened early in the pregnancy before the gender could be determined. They may feel that giving the baby a name makes the loss feel more real, or they may simply feel strange naming a baby who was never born.

Whatever your preference, you should do what feels right for you and there is not one correct path for everyone.

If you do choose to name your baby, here are some tips for choosing an appropriate name:

  • Keep the name you used for the baby during the pregnancy, whether it was a spoken or unspoken name. Maybe you called your baby Jellybean or Peanut. It's okay to keep those names.
  • Go ahead and use the name you had picked out before you learned of the miscarriage. You may want to keep that name for a future child, and that is obviously OK, but you might find you always associate that name with this baby.
  • Consider using a name that you love but which you would not use for a future baby, such as one that honors an older relative.
  • Use a word that is meaningful to you even if it isn't technically a name. The name for your miscarried baby is not likely to be used by anyone except you and your immediate family, so it doesn't need to be something that meets with other people's approval.
  • Consider a gender neutral name if the pregnancy loss occurred before it was possible to determine your baby's gender, or if you had a feeling one way or the other about the baby's gender, give your baby a name suited to that gender.
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  1. About.com
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  3. Miscarriage / Pregnancy Loss
  4. Coping and Support
  5. Remembering Your Baby
  6. Miscarriage and Baby Names - Can Naming Your Baby Help in Coping with Miscarriage

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