If you are visiting this page because you have suffered a still birth or miscarriage, we would like to say how sorry we are for your loss. You need to allow yourself time to grieve for your baby. The emotions you will experience are incredibly powerful so be good to yourself too and don't take on anything too demanding until you feel ready. Remember grieving is a very personal process that has no time limit or "right way" to do it.
Click to the right to watch a video from Best Beginnings on bereavement.

People react in different way to loss. Anxiety and helplessness often come first. Anger is also common, including feeling angry at someone who has died for "leaving you behind". Sadness often comes later.

Feelings like these are a natural part of the grieving process. Knowing that they are common may help them seem more normal. It's also important to know that they will pass.

Some people take a lot longer than others to recover. Some need help from a counsellor or therapist or their GP.

But you will eventually come to terms with your loss, and the intense feeling will subside.

There's no instant fix. You might feel affected every day for about a year to 18 months after a major loss. But after this time the grief is less likely to be at the forefront of your mind.

There are practical things you can do to get through a time of bereavement or loss:

  • Express yourself. Talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions. Talking to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor can begin the healing process.
  • Allow yourself to feel sad. It's a healthy part of the grieving process.
  • Keep your routine up. Keeping up simple things like walking the dog can help.
  • Sleep. Emotional strain can make you very tired. If you're having trouble sleeping, see your GP.
  • Eat healthily. A healthy, well-balanced diet will help you cope.
  • Avoid things that "numb" the pain, such as alcohol. It will make you feel worse once the numbness wears off.
  • Go to counselling if it feels right for you - but perhaps not straight away. Counselling may be more useful after a couple of weeks or months. Only you will know when you're ready.

Get help if any of the following apply to you:

  • You don't feel able to cope with overwhelming emotions or daily life
  • The intense emotions are not subsiding
  • You're not sleeping
  • You have symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
  • Your relationships are suffering
  • You're having sexual problems
  • You're becoming accident-prone
  • You're caring for someone who isn't coping well
  • You can't get out of bed
  • You neglect yourself or your family - for example, you don't eat properly
  • You feel you can't go on without the person you've lost
  • The emotion is so intense it's affecting the rest of your life - for example, you can't face going to work or you're taking your anger out on someone else

Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed. Or, you can contact support organisations directly, such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0808 808 1677) or Samaritans (116 123).

Some people turn to alcohol or drugs during difficult times. Get help cutting down on alcohol, or see the Frank website for information on drugs