How to Share the News of Your Pregnancy Loss

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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 should be your highest priority right now.

But there may come a time you when decide to send out an announcement about your loss to friends and family. Below, you’ll find some suggested wordings for loss announcements of many kinds. Use what feels right for you or draft one of your own.

Ultimately, how you communicate the loss of your baby is up to you. So, don't feel pressured to handle things in a specific way.

Mail and Email Announcements

If you’ve already told people you’re pregnant, it may be easier to send out an announcement—either by mail or email—to let everyone know at once that you’ve miscarried or that your baby died. The template and wordings below might be a helpful starting place.

Introductory Paragraph

Begin your letter or email by giving the recipients the pertinent details first. Then, follow with a brief paragraph explaining what happened. Here is an option for your introductory paragraph:

  • We lovingly honor the memory of our son/daughter, (name)
  • Born: date and time
  • Died: date and time

Secondary Paragraph

The secondary paragraph will give your recipients more information about what happened, as well as give them some insight in how you would like them to communicate with you about your loss. The following are some different ways you might approach it:

  • 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 saddened 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 continued prayers and support during this difficult time.
  • 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.

Closing Paragraph

Some parents choose to close with a paragraph letting people know how they want to handle the loss going forward. If you have any specific wishes or expectations, this is the place to share those. Here is one idea of how some parents choose to close their correspondence:

  • 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.

Social Media Announcements

If you’re the type of person who has an extensive social life online, you may have announced your pregnancy to hundreds of people already. To avoid well-intentioned, but potentially hurtful questions about your pregnancy in the weeks and months to come, you may want to post an announcement about your loss. 

Any of the suggestions above could work. Remember, you're not required to reply to anyone if you don't feel like it.

In fact, it may be better to post your announcement and then take a few days off from social media so you don't get overwhelmed. 

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. Likewise, 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, thank you cards 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. 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.

Other Suggestions

If you are looking for a pre-printed announcement, you may be disappointed by the selections available. A blank note card or even stationary from the wedding department may have a more appropriate look for the mood you want.

Likewise, you may want to include your ultrasound photo, a photograph of the baby, or a footprint from your baby to help your loved ones connect with your child as a person. Keep in mind that sharing your loss also may help other women in your life feel more comfortable talking about their own losses. There is no substitute for the support of someone who has gone through a similar tragedy.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how to handle your grieving. So, be sure to do what makes you most comfortable.

A Word From Verywell

Communicating to friends and family members about the loss of a baby or a miscarriage is never an easy task. Not only are you grieving, but you're also wrestling to make sense of what happened. Consequently, it's important that you not feel constrained by any of the suggestions on this page.

If you prefer something more casual, trust your instincts. There's no one way to handle your loss, and no one should tell you there are any rules you have to follow. Do what feels best for you. 

By Elizabeth Czukas, RN, MSN
Elizabeth Czukas is a writer who who has worked as an RN in high-risk obstetrics, antepartum care, and with women undergoing pregnancy loss.