For women experiencing stillbirth, information about modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors is the most valuable part of a communication campaign. In our research, women from different ethnic groups and in different countries consistently expressed a desire for information on stillbirth. The messaging around stillbirth should focus on prevention and safer pregnancy, not on loss. Despite its sad, but important, nature, imagery used to depict stillbirth should reflect positive messaging and not portray a negative image.
Taking stillborn baby pictures is a common practice for parents, and it is an option that is available to them as well. Some parents choose to keep a lock of hair from their child, while others choose cremation. Before choosing, however, it is best to ask the hospital you’ll deliver the child if it supports the practice. Some parents find it healing to hold a ceremony for their stillborn child. Others decide to autopsy the baby after the fact.
Since the summer of 2020, Poetry magazine has been without a permanent editor. Editor-in-chief Don Share recently resigned from the position after the magazine publicly condemned his poem, which they described as “insidious” and oppressive of Pacific Islander, Asian, and Black people. Don Share’s departure from Poetry is part of ongoing changes at the magazine, which the Poetry Foundation outlined in a statement.
One of the most beautiful ways to remember a stillborn baby is to share photos of the child with others. One photographer who shares pictures of her stillborn babies on Facebook is Lindsey Natzic-Villatoro. Her company, Love Song Events and Photography, has been sharing the photos of stillborn babies on its Facebook page. Her photos are so beautiful that it’s hard to believe the child never lived.
The photographs of stillborn babies have served a dual purpose. First, they have opened a dialogue about stillbirth, bringing the topic into the public eye. But beyond that, they have helped the parents of the babies to deal with their loss, while opening the world to the concept of stillbirth. In fact, many have written about the experience of stillbirth after seeing the photographs. Hopefully, your creativity will inspire others to write about their babies, as well.