Supporting dad after the death of a child

Psychotherapist Amy Luster, MA, MFT, shares advice on how to help support the needs of the father who is often overlooked after the loss of a baby or young child
Loss Of A Child - Supporting Dad After The Death Of A Child
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Supporting dad after the death of a child

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After experiencing the loss of a baby or young child, often the needs of the father are overlooked. There tends to be a lot of concern and support over how the mother is doing, especially in the case of a stillborn baby. Typically, the father is asked, "How is she doing?" versus "How are you doing?" If you know a father that is going through this experience, offer your presence as a caring listener. Avoid giving advice or giving platitudes on what he should be doing or how he should be feeling or how long this should be taking. Give him the thought that he should be moving past this. If he is open to talking about his feelings, that would be a wonderful gift to give him. If he is not into talking about their feelings directly, he might enjoy doing an activity with you. Let him know that you are available to talk about his feelings about the loss. Ask about how he is taking care of himself physically. He might be so concerned with his partners care that he may have overlooked his own physical care. Finally, understand that he will never be back to the person he was before. He will come to a new state of normal and to know that you accept him and support him will be of tremendous comfort.

Psychotherapist Amy Luster, MA, MFT, shares advice on how to help support the needs of the father who is often overlooked after the loss of a baby or young child

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Amy Luster, MA, MFT

Psychotherapist

Amy Luster, MA, is a psychotherapist and author. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families. She runs a group entitled, Parenting After a Loss which offers support, guidance, and education. Her emphasis is on assisting parents who have experienced a child-bearing loss whether from ongoing infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a baby. Her goal is to help families function in a healthy, satisfying way despite their past loss. Amy, her husband and their four children live in Santa Monica, CA. 

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