Empty Cradle, Broken Heart – Monthly Book Review

This month’s pregnancy and infant loss book review features Empty Cradle, Broken Heart.

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Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D. discusses the heartache of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. This book is for parents who are grieving and looking for encouragement.

This was the first book I read after the loss of my twins. Reading these stories from others made me feel that I was not alone.  It includes information about death of one or more babies and offers support. It includes quotes from others who have experienced this heartache and who understand.

Chapter One discusses the ‘D’ word, expectations, loneliness, and our losses. As I continued reading it made me realize that I was normal. As I grieved I thought I was having thoughts that no one else had. I thought I was losing my mind. This book showed me that all my thoughts were normal and even went into detail about some of the thoughts I was having.

As a mom I found reading this book helpful in the sense that it talks about physical recovery and how to take care of our bodies. Some have had a D & C while others had a Cesarean. We have postpartum visits and some need advice for breast care. There is information on how to handle these issues. If you are anything like me you may have had trouble sleeping in the early days of grief. There are tips to help with this and I found them very helpful.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to someone who has just had a loss. There is great information about making decisions after your baby’s death. We had to make so many decisions without any knowledge or help. If I had read parts of this book while I was in the hospital I would have been so grateful. It discusses burial, memorials/funerals, keepsakes, rituals, and memorializing your baby.

At the end of each chapter there is a section of points to remember. This is a good area to go back over certain points and even highlight things you want to revisit. I found this extremely helpful in helping to organize my thoughts.

There is a special chapter especially for fathers. It talks about the social expectations that are placed on fathers and their grief. This chapter touches on many key points that could be helpful in a father coping with grief and his emotions.

Not only is this book great for parents, but doctors and nurses could also benefit from reading it. Many hospitals do not give input or advice as to making decisions. This is so important as I know too many parents who have walked away from the hospital without photos or memories of their baby. Even if a friend or family member wants to read this book, let them. The more insight they have the more they will understand your grief.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is grieving, whether it is the first stages of that raw grief or later down the road. It was great for my husband and I to read after our loss and it has now been 9 months and I continue to pick it up and revisit certain chapters. You may cry as you read, but know that it is okay to cry.

– Submitted by Jill A.

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*Interested in submitting your own pregnancy and infant loss book review? Please to have your review(s) published on Grieve Out Loud. Please include book title in your e-mail.


3 Responses to “Empty Cradle, Broken Heart – Monthly Book Review”

  • Dana Says:

    This was the first book I read after losing my son and I found it really helpful. I carried it around with me for a few weeks so I could re-read some portions if I needed to. I recommend it as well.

  • Holly Says:

    This sounds like a really good book. I like the points that it touches upon.

  • Tara Says:

    Like aDana–This is the first book I read after losing my son. I would read and cry, read and cry. It was one of the only things that could keep my attention for months. I’ve read it a couple of times. It was so helpful and I was so comforted to read the quotes from other parents who had lost babies. It was nice to know that someone else “got it”, and not feel quite so alone.

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