Established in 1974, AMEND offers a free counseling service to parents who have experienced the loss of an infant through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
The main purpose of AMEND is to offer support and encouragement to parents having a normal grief reaction to the loss of their baby.
Initially, the Psychiatric Department of Jewish Hospital trained and supervised the volunteer counselors who had experienced the death of an infant before, during, or after delivery.
The training and supervision continues via professional leadership, who are on twenty-four hour call. These professionals also facilitate the monthly meetings attended by the counselors to update and review referrals. All information is confidential and no names are disclosed.
The commitment of all counselors is to be available, within reasonable limits, whenever the grieving parents have a need to talk.
By speaking with counselors who have lost a baby, the newly bereaved parents realize they are not alone in their feelings. They often find it easier to share their feelings with someone who has been there. Some parents speak to a counselor once or twice, others talk many times.
The counselors do not give medical advice or information. It is through listening, understanding, and caring that they are able to help ease the pain of loss and suffering.
The loss of an infant is often underestimated. It is normal to feel:
- Like a failure
During the grief process we may:
- Cry often
- Be irritable
- Need to talk about our loss
- Sleep too much or too little
- Withdraw from family and friends
- Feel disoriented and not in control
- Think constantly about the one who died
After the grief is resolved, we can lovingly remember the one we lost and feel: