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In 2013 in the UK, one in every 137 babies was either stillborn or died in the first 4 weeks of life

Here in N. Ireland, over 3 babies a week are stillborn or die in the first 4 weeks of life.

We support all bereaved parents who have lost their babies, before, during or shortly after birth.

Single parents’ grief


If you are a single parent, the grief you experience for your baby is the same as that felt by other parents. But because you don’t have a partner, there are some things that could make it even more difficult.

Your baby’s father or mother may not be a part of your life to provide emotional support at such a difficult time. This can place an additional burden; it may be more difficult for you to find someone to share your pain and feelings with.

It’s very common to feel alone when you are grieving - this is normal. Being a single parent can make this aloneness even more total and unpleasant. So perhaps it’s even more important that you try to find appropriate support.

If you live with others in a shared house, with friends, parents or other family it may be difficult to find the privacy you sometimes need.

You might wonder how your baby’s father or mother is coping; you might wonder if they even care or hurt the way you do.

You might also wonder if you should contact the baby’s father or mother. It’s very important at this time that you protect yourself from any further pain, so you should think carefully before you do.


As a single parent, your grief is just as real and painful as any other parent’s. No matter if your baby was planned or not, your circumstances or your age, you have every right to hurt. You also have every right to support.

Please visit our other pages on practical advice Practical Advice, especially those on commemorating your baby. Planning for special days like anniversaries and holidays could be particularly difficult without your baby’s father or mother to plan them with. But for many they are very important. Try to find a caring friend or relative who’ll spend time with you on those days. Of course, if you prefer, it’s perfectly OK to spend time alone.

Please also look at our Support pages to see what services Sands NI could offer you. As a single parent, Groups may be particularly important as a way to share your feelings. You will never be judged or criticised at a Sands group, or by a befriender. Please call the helpline to find out more or e-mail us at support at sandsni dot org.