I am often asked for ideas on what to give someone who has experienced pregnancy loss or the loss of an infant or child. Although I wish this question never had to come up I’m so glad there are thoughtful people out there who want to do something to ease the pain of others.
I thought I would put together a list of my favorite products and ideas I have come across over the years that may bring comfort to someone who is grieving.
1. Molly Bear– Molly Bears is a non-profit founded by a fellow loss mom who creates bears the exact weight of your infant at the time they passed. Words can’t express the feelings that rushed over me the first time I lifted my bear out of its box and there are a few other people who love it too…
2. Footprint jewelry– Grace Personalized makes a gorgeous ring with the actual footprint of your child. This shop also does quite a bit of customized jewelry so if you do not have a print you could have the child’s name put on a necklace or bracelet.
3. Angel wing necklace– A friend recently pinned this necklace from the Vintage Pearl for me on Pinterest and then my mom bought it for me last year. I absolutely love it. It would also be a great gift for someone who suffered a loss during pregnancy and may not have prints or a name to create something personalized.
4. Art work– The talented artist behind Heart Box Studio creates beautiful artwork that does not focus solely on grief but highlights it often.
5. Memory Box– There are personalized memory boxes you can find almost anywhere. After you lose a baby there can be so few precious things to keep, giving someone a beautiful place to keep them is such a thoughtful gift. Here’s one of my favorites, the shop also does a version of this in blue.
6. Entwined ring– Unfortunately, multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk of loss. If you know someone who has lost one or more in a set of twins or triplets these rings from Nelle and Lizzy are perfect. I have one entwining the names of my triplets and I couldn’t love it more.
7. Name In the Sand– I cannot say enough about this gift. Carly Marie, the founder of this site will write the name of a lost child in the sand on the shores of a gorgeous beach in Australia and photograph it for you. This was one of the first things I had done to remember Hadley and I will always treasure it.
8. Wooden name block– My sister-in-law bought me this for Hadley’s birthday a few years ago and I absolutely love it. You can find them to give on Etsy. I was unable to find the original shop who made this sign but there are now others who make something similar.
9. Memorial tree– I had no idea there were organizations that would actually go out and plant trees as memorial gifts. I found this company that will plant a tree or a grove and provide you with documentation of your gift to give to the family. I love the thought of a gift in my daughter’s memory living on for years to come.
10. Support at home– Many families who have suffered a loss have spent many days and nights in a hospital. One of the most wonderful gifts we were given was a fridge full of fresh produce. When I finally returned from the hospital my mom and aunt had shopped for us and filled our fridge with fresh fruits and veggies. I think that first plate of fresh food was the best meal I’ve ever had. I was in no shape to go to the store and such a thoughtful thing for them to give was truly appreciated.
Ultimately, any small gesture will mean so much to a family that is struggling through grief. The most important thing you can do is acknowledge their loss and let them know you are there for support when they need you.
Here are my favorite ways to support someone who is grieving and here is my most read post ever on what it feels like to grieve the loss of a child.
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Jenni & Andy says
The fridge full of fresh produce catches my attention. Cakes and casseroles come first to mind as nourishment for grievers, but removed from the parade of plates and platters, I realize -while grateful for all of it- the ones I appreciated most were big salads, stuff I could eat without guilt. There were a few times that someone else grocery shopped for us – what a gift that was. When I work up the courage to go through the tubs of Celia’s clothes, I’d really, really like to have a quilt made with pieces of my favorite outfits… I realize that might only be an option for someone whose child lived for a little while.
I’ve always wanted to make something out of Hadley’s clothes. I have a whole box that she never wore that I can’t imagine getting rid of. I would love to have a quilt made.
Jenni & Andy says
Have you seen the Heritage Quilts by Vintage Giggles? I’m saving up!
Jennifer Hearron says
We kissed our son goodbye 9 years ago, after he was born into heaven at 39 weeks gestation. The hospital gave us a box of momentos that we did not think to get, including a few strands of hair and his hand/footprints. To this day, the one thing I wish I had is a Christmas ornament with his handprint on it. You know, like the ones the kids make in preschool..fingers are snowmen, palm is snow on ground. Occasionally I will drop off round ornaments and white paint at the hospital where our son was born and ask the nurses to make one for bereavement memory boxes.
My daughter was older when she passed and so many people have given me beautiful gifts. I have lockets, decorative items with butterflies and dragonflies, and just yesterday a friend gave me a Christmas angel she thought looked like my daughter (the only decoration I even have this year).
All of these are perfect. I have a footprint around my neck to remember our loss. It means so much to acknowledge.
Brenda Brown says
I just lost my daughter to Anencephaly. She was born at 20 weeks. We thought we were carrying to term but she had other plans. I would love to see stuff for infants born and lost to this condition.
Entwined ring, is really beautiful… For me, this is the best thing to share with your love one which symbolized a kind of love.
The bear is such an incredible gift. What a great post.
I think this is the time of giving, a generous day which we can express our love by giving a precious thing for special one…
Beautiful mementos. Thank you for sharing this.
Lady Jennie says
The Molly Bear idea is so unbelievable – I can’t believe someone thought of that. It must be healing in some ways, at least the mom would feel loved to receive such a gift.
julie gardner says
This post is a gift all by itself.
You are a gift to us.
I’ve found the idea of that footprint ring simple genial! I think it will be a must-have item for me, thanks for the inspiration!
Making It Work Mom says
What a great list. I think the angel wing necklace is a gorgeous reminder. I have the intertwined ring for my three children and I love it.
Thank you for this.
These are such beautiful momentos. You have my vote Mama
Thank you for this.
My Inner Chick says
—I love the entwined ring.
I’d like one w/ my sister and my name on it. Lovely.
Thank you so much for this list. It also reminded me to go back and check the Molly Bear site. Every time I have checked it the waiting list has been closed. I am so glad that you were able to get your bear.
I will see if i can pin some of these on my wish list Thank you again . Thinking about you all. Take care. xoxo
I think their waiting list is open, it took a really long time to get mine but definitely worth the wait. Thinking of you as always Lanie. xo
Oh my. This week we should be having a baby, and yet I sit here constantly thinking of watching my baby for the last time and learning that my precious tiny child would never survive. Thank you so much for putting so much out there for people who have lost so much.
Hugs my friend.
Not a Perfect Mom says
I love this…I’m going to have to bookmark it…
not that I hope I’ll ever need it…but you know…
As sad as this was/is/will be you did such a great job making it about others and their pain. I pinned it. It was hard to come up with a description but I know others will want to know about it.
I know this is an issue people often have but don’t know who to ask so just wanted to put it out there in a way that people could come back and reference. Glad you found it helpful and thanks for sharing!
Galit Breen says
Everything about this post is stunning, starting and ending with your heart. xo
Aww, thank you Galit.
Kristen @ Motherese says
How lovely of you to take the time to compile this list, Jessica. What a tremendous resource for those trying to give comfort to those in mourning. You have such a big heart.
Varda (SquashedMom) says
These are all beautiful ideas. And I’m sorry they need to exist. More hugs for you. Always.
I like the necklace and the rings looks simple but elegant..
My friend lost her baby at around week 32. We had already started getting special gifts for the baby, like a handmade quilt. We gave those to her and she keeps them in her memory box. I think something that was created special for the baby should go to the mom no matter what.
These are all so beautiful. I have a friend who lost her 3 year old daughter two years ago and she is always look for ways to hold onto her as well. The engraved wing necklace is definitely one that will mean a lot to her.
These are all great ideas. After the loss of our child I received a small box at my doorstep. Inside was a candle and a small angel with my sons birthstone on it. The note simply said, “We lost our son too and we light a candle similar to this in his memory. I hope in some way this brings you peace.”
It did and still does.
My goodness, this would be the only time when I wouldn’t feel “happiness” about giving a gift. At the same time, ignoring the situation would be horrible.
Mrs. Weber says
I love this post. I have a very dear friend who just experienced a miscarriage and honestly, I didn’t know what to do and if giving a gift was appropriate. Knowing she loved Buffalo Wild Wings, we ended up getting her a gift card since we knew it was going to be a long few days ahead for her and would be a good spot to get carryout and not have to worry about cooking. I feel like a schmuck after reading these heartfelt ideas!
I love the angel wings…and think I may get those for her for what would’ve been her due date since I know that day is going to be hard on her.
GREAT ideas, Jessica!
These suggestions are beautiful. My husband & I lost a pregnancy 2 years ago before we were blessed with our sweet little flower. I wish I knew or thought about these things at the time. It may have helped ease the pain I felt during that time. Thanks for posting this.
I love that ring. And the thought of that bear took my breath away. Thanks so much for sharing this.
You are so gracious with your strength and your support. You always amaze me. XO!