Pregnancy and baby

Bereavement in pregnancy

The death of a loved one can turn your world upside down and is one of the most difficult experiences to deal with. This may be harder to cope with if you are pregnant or have just given birth.

Family and friends can help by spending time with you if you have been bereaved. A sympathetic arm around the shoulders can express love and support when words are not enough.

Grief is not just one feeling, but a whole succession of feelings that take time to get through and cannot be hurried.

Find out about coping with bereavement.

If you need any help or advice, get in touch with your GP or an organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0844 477 9400), which offers support and counselling.  

If your partner dies

If your partner dies during your pregnancy or soon after childbirth, you may feel emotionally numb. It may not be something that you get over, more something that you eventually learn to live with. Don't be afraid to lean on your family and friends.

If you haven't given birth yet and your partner was going to be with you at the birth, you will need to think about who will be with you instead. Try to choose someone who knows you very well.

Find out what your birth partner can do and things to think about when making your birth plan.

If you have had your baby, find out about sources of help and support if you're bringing up a child on your own.

GOV.UK has information on what to do after someone dies, with advice on issues such as registering a death and arranging a funeral.

Find out how to register a death.

Benefits and advice

Financially, you may need urgent advice and support. GOV.UK has information on financial help for bereaved people. You can also find out about benefits you may be entitled to, such as: 

  • income support
  • housing benefit
  • working tax credit
  • council tax benefit
  • child benefit 
  • child tax credit

If you were married and your partner worked, you may be entitled to widowed parent's allowance, based on your partner's national insurance contributions.

If you weren't married, you will not be classed as a widow and will therefore be dependent on your private arrangements, income support or working tax credit, if you work.

If you are on a low income, you may be able to get some help with funeral expenses. It is always worth talking to your undertaker or your minister of religion to see if they can help.

Find bereavement support services near you

Read more about miscarriage and stillbirth.


Page last reviewed: 12/03/2015

Next review due: 30/01/2018


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Adult bereavement

The death of a loved one can be devastating. Watch how Penny, who was widowed in 2005, coped with the sudden death of her husband. Also get advice from a bereavement counsellor about how to deal with your emotions and where to find support.

Media last reviewed: 03/01/2017

Next review due: 03/01/2020

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