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Department of Health Services

Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health

Grief and Bereavement Support


If you or someone that you know has experiencing the death of a child or lost a wanted pregnancy, we offer our sincere condolences. This loss can be devastating and life changing.

You are not alone; grief counselors and other families who have experienced the death of a child are available to provide support.

Local Grief Counseling Services

24-hour Line for Grief Counseling 
(No cost) 
(800) 837-1818

Hospice of Petaluma 

Memorial Hospice 
(707) 568-1094

North County Hospice 
(707) 431-1135

Sutter VNA and Hospice 
(English only) 
(707) 535-5780

Kaiser Behavioral Health 
(707) 571-3778

Sonoma County SIDS Program

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the clinical history. SIDS, sometimes referred to as "crib death," occurs during sleep. The death is sudden and unpredictable. In most cases the baby seems healthy. It is important to know that sleeping in a crib does not cause SIDS.

SIDS is a leading cause of death in babies between one month and one year of age. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between two and four months old. SIDS strikes nearly 2,500 babies in the United States every year. About 200 babies in California die each year from SIDS.

A Public Health Nurse Can Help

Public health nurses (PHNs) are specially trained in bereavement. They provide grief support, information, referrals, and link families and caregivers affected by SIDS. For more information, please call (707) 565-4494.

Se habla español.

Other Resources

SIDS Alliance of Northern California
Non-profit volunteer group of SIDS parents and professionals dedicated to family support and community education regarding SIDS. 

California SIDS Program
This site is designed to serve the many individuals affected by a SIDS death and to educate the public about SIDS. Contains a wide variety of information on Grief & Bereavement.

March of Dimes
Loss and grief associated with miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. 

CJ Foundation for SIDS
Support for grieving parents and SIDS research.

First Candle (800) 221-7437 
Grief counselors are 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you, or someone you know, needs help.

The Compassionate Friends(877) 969-0010
Offers support for families after the death of a child of any age. Information in English and Spanish.   
Sonoma County Chapter contact:, (707) 490-8640.

Mother in Sympathy and Support (MISS) Foundation
Providing crisis support and long term aid to families after the death of a child from any cause. Online Support Group 24/7. 

Bereaved Parents of the USA
Offers support for parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group (800) 821-6819

Grief and Share
Grief recovery support groups.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (877) 834-5667
Professional, on-call volunteer photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby. 

Suppressing Your Milk Supply

These tips may help you have less discomfort and dry up your milk supply.

  • Wear a comfortable, but snug bra during the day and at night. Continue for a week or until your breasts are soft. It is not advised to wear an underwire bra when lying down, as this can cause a plugged duct.
  • Cold compresses can also be comforting. You can try ice packs or frozen peas placed inside your bra for 10-20 minutes at a time.
  • Avoid nipple stimulation. While pumping relieves the pressure from engorgement, it will also encourage continued milk production. If your breasts are extremely painful, place a warm wet towel across your breast and hand express enough milk just to relieve the pressure.
  • Continue to drink fluids to satisfy your thirst. If you are drinking large amounts of liquids, it may be helpful to limit yourself to 2 liters a day.
  • Sage is known to decrease milk production. You may want to drink several cups of sage tea as soon as possible until your breasts feel comfortable. It is available as tea bags at many groceries stores that carry natural products.
  • Check with your health care provider about taking ibuprofen (200 mg) 2 tablets every six hours for pain. This can be helpful for up a few days.
  • It is possible to develop a breast infection while your milk is drying up. Watch for fever, pain and redness in an area of your breast. Some women also experience flu-like feelings, headache and nausea. Call your health care provider right away, as you may need antibiotics.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your health care provider or the lactation specialist at the hospital.

Developed by the Sonoma County Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team, May 2014.