15 babies die a day before, during or shortly after birth In the UK. Baby Loss Awareness Week is held annually from 9th to 15th October and is a special opportunity to mark the lives of babies that have died. The Sands charity (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death) works hard to support parents following the loss of a baby; a time they can feel both devastated and isolated. Sands exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it; wherever there are in the UK. There are over 100 volunteer groups that work to run support groups, run events, liaise with hospitals about bereavement care and fundraise to ensure that bereavement support can be in place for bereaved families. North and East London Sands is the local one to this area.
Pregnancy and baby loss is often a taboo subject and Baby Loss Awareness Week gives families an opportunity to help break the silence. During the month of October, across the country, many events took place to help support families. North and East London Sands held a Candlelit Walk on Tuesday 15th October. In previous years this walk has given families the opportunity to come together to reflect and talk about their experiences in a supportive environment. The walk ends with the placing of tea lights to mark “The Wave of Light”. This year I have also been painting stones to be placed around the local area; each one has been painted and then inscribed with the name of a much missed and loved baby. If you find one of these stones, please acknowledge the baby and share on social media using #BLAW2019. Finally, a couple of local businesses such as Fagin’s Toys and Fierce Grace Yoga Studio (both Muswell Hill) have kindly said they will sell Baby Loss Pins and collect donations through the month of October. Please try and go in to get your pin to wear to show your support.
I got involved with the Sands charity after our first baby, Hamish, was stillborn at 41 weeks in May 2012. We found out his heart had stopped after routine checks while in labour at the Whittington Hospital. At the time Stillbirth was not something that we had ever anticipated; but we were one of those 15 families that day. Since then we have tried to keep Hamish’s memory alive and ensure that he isn’t forgotten. Awareness is also about helping educate the wider community that people do want to remember and talk about their babies after loss; it can be a great gift to a bereaved parent when someone acknowledges that their baby lived.
‘You were born silent. Perfect and beautiful. Still Loved. Still Missed. Still Remembered. Everyday. Stillborn. But Still Loved.’
If you or anyone has been affected by loss North and East London is the local group. It is run by volunteers all who have experienced a loss.
Tel: 07948 272486
Email: [email protected]
To donate and help ensure that we can continue the great work of North and East London Sands: