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"Reborn" dolls for bereaved parents..

(20 Posts)
ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Thu 22-Feb-07 23:05:37

What do you think about this??!

"Parents struggling to cope with losing a baby are easing their grief with replica dolls of their lost children. The lifelike models, called Reborn Dolls, have a mechanical beating heart, realistic hair and even veins, says The Sun. Experts make them look identical to a child that has died, and weights are placed in their limbs and bodies to mimic the way a real baby would feel to hold.

Wendy Graham, one of the UK's leading 'Reborners', has made several dolls for grieving parents in the past four years.

"It was so sad when I received my first picture of a dead child," she said. "I hoped my doll would turn out exactly like the baby and the couple would be happy with it. It's a strange thing to do."

The 40-year-old, from Lincoln, added: "Just because a baby has died doesn't mean they should be forgotten. Reborns have so much colour, they look so lifelike - as if they're sleeping."

But the Child Bereavement Trust, a charity that counsels grieving families, has warned against parents replacing lost babies with models.

It told The Sun: "It's more helpful for them to face the reality of what is happening and express their painful feelings without relying on such a doll."

The Reborn industry is successful in the US, but is only just starting in Britain.

Most dolls are bought by collectors, who pay up to £450 for each one."

QueenEagle Thu 22-Feb-07 23:07:39

I find it a bit disturbing tbh. But then I've thankfully never gone through the pain of losing a child so probably speaking out of my armpit.

hertsnessex Thu 22-Feb-07 23:09:06

seems wierd, but i can see ppl doing it, if you have a lsot a child, just to hold a baby that felt like them would be amazing im sure.


ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Thu 22-Feb-07 23:10:23

Thing is, can it be helpful long time.. or even healthy?

MynamesMikeIswimlikeafish Thu 22-Feb-07 23:11:38

My first thought was 'No'.

But having never been in that position, who's to say how I'd feel. I can imagine how empty your arms must feel - how you might want to just hold something that felt like your baby. Or would that be worse?

Aero Thu 22-Feb-07 23:16:41

I don't like them. A lady at our gym brought one in and it was a bit creepy. Looks sooooooo real, but doesn't move whatsoever. Then she put it back it it's box and that gave me a feeling I disliked even more.

However, if it helps any bereaved parent through their grief, then I don't think it's any bad thing. I can sort of see why some people would find them somehow comforting. I'm very thankful for having never been through that kind of pain and grief.

ManchesterMum Thu 22-Feb-07 23:20:30

DD2 was stillborn last year at 35 weeks and I can't think of anything I'd want less, then or now. Perhaps it's different if you've lost a child following a live birth (whether after hours, weeks or months) but can't honestly see how.

Aero Thu 22-Feb-07 23:22:49

So sorry MM.

scatterbrain Thu 22-Feb-07 23:23:37

Friend of mine had a stillbirth about 4 yrs ago and she bought on eof these dolls - I found it deeply strange and uncomfortable - but shde hated the thought oif the empty cot. It def helped her - she has had two babies since but still treasures her reborn.

I suppose each to their own - and everyone copes differently.

edam Thu 22-Feb-07 23:25:48

I am thankfully not in a position to know this from personal experience, but can't think of anything worse. Losing a child means they are always frozen in time - the tragedy is that you will never see your baby take their first steps or say their first words. Surely a doll would just be an awful bloody reminder of that?

JanH Thu 22-Feb-07 23:28:07

I saw this today, too. The dolls are amazingly lifelike in pictures - misdee makes them too, doesn't she?

I really don't feel able to comment on the idea of someone getting one as a comfort for a lost child - anything that helps someone get through I suppose

MM, so sorry about your baby.

scatterbrain Thu 22-Feb-07 23:28:55

My friend said that having no baby to hold was her first hurdle - she needed something to hold, something to carry round etc. She called it empty arms syndrome !

nooka Thu 22-Feb-07 23:32:45

It does seem slightly creepy, but if anyone has watched the Helen House series at the moment they have a room where they keep the recently dead whilst the funeral is being arranged. that seemed a bit weird to me, but it clearly really helped people to say their goodbyes over that week or so. Maybe this is something along the same lines?

ManchesterMum Thu 22-Feb-07 23:33:46

Can't imagine how much more difficult it would have been if we didn't already have DD1 so can sort of see that where someone has lost a first/only child that they may be more of a need to fill the void. Each such situation if so personal though.

threelittleDaves Thu 22-Feb-07 23:33:54

My first child was stillborn, I would not like this idea one bit. Think empty arms syndrome would still be there tbh, I just cant imagine it helping me.

ManchesterMum Thu 22-Feb-07 23:39:08

Haven't been able to bring myself to watch the Helen House series but totally understand the need/desire to spend time with your child before the funeral. With stillbirths, it's the only time you have so is very precious but with any bereavement - whether child or adult - it's simply part of the grieving process.

ManchesterMum Thu 22-Feb-07 23:43:18

Sorry threelittledaves

hertsnessex Thu 22-Feb-07 23:49:52

so sorry mm and tld.


amyjade Sat 24-Feb-07 20:23:31

Our daughter was laid to rest at Naomi house children's hospice in a room similar to the one at Helen house and after saying my goodbye's the day she died i never went back in the room. Seeing my dead 19 month old was too hard to bear, in my mind she was gone and the thought of her being safe and warm tucked up in bed with all her toys around her was enough.
The idea of a replica doll seems a bit strange to me but that is just my personal opinion. All i can say that every bereaved parent copes with their gief in their own individual way and if having a doll which looks like your lost child helps then it's a good thing, it just wouldn't be for me.

misdee Sat 24-Feb-07 20:38:46

I am working on my first reborn. I purcjased one as a point of reference, to check on how much detail goes into them, and it is very lifelike. beucase it is weighted, you cant help by cradle it like a real baby. i have even rocked it without thinking. I also use it in my auctions for baby items as its the size of a newborn so gives an idea of how big things are.

As isaid on the other thread, i dont really know how i would feel if i got good enough at reborning and someone asked me to make one of their deceased child. I reently watched a montage on onetruemedia, and it was about a baby who died shortly after birth, and some of the photos were very upsetting as the baby was dead then. I was crying as the grief in the pictures was so raw, and i cant imagine a doll would make the parents feel better, but i have never been in that position, so really cant say.

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