Baby Loss Awareness Week

From 9th to 15th October, the charity Sands is leading Baby Loss Awareness Week, which is a chance

  • for bereaved parents, and their families and friends, to unite with others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives.
  • to raise awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK, and push for tangible improvements in services, support, research or policy around bereavement support.
  • to let the public and key stakeholders what charities and other supportive organisations are doing on bereavement support around pregnancy and baby loss.

This year, Sands and the supporting charitieswant to talk about better bereavement care for people affected by pregnancy and baby loss.

"It is vital that good bereavement care is offered to anyone who has lost a baby before, during or after birth.

However, the standard of care in the UK varies widely between regions. Bereavement care training is mandatory in under half of NHS Trusts and Health Boards. At the last count, one in three Trusts and Health Boards did not have a dedicated bereavement room in each maternity unit they cover.

Source: Sands Bereavement Care Audit Report 2016

As a result lots of parents do not receive good quality bereavement support following pregnancy or baby loss. The quality and consistency of care can vary on the circumstances of baby loss, where parents live, and even depends on who may be on shift that day.

We believe that as far as is possible, there should be high quality bereavement support services and care available for everyone wherever they live in the UK. Everyone should have the chance to have the support they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.

We don’t just work on bereavement.  Many charities involved in Baby Loss Awareness Week work every day to prevent baby and infant deaths, pregnancy loss and maternal deaths. But this Baby Loss Awareness Week we want to talk about what could be done right now to better support families affected by the death of a baby.

Working for Change

What do we want to see?

We are calling for:

  • All UK hospitals to be required to offer excellent bereavement care to parents.

  • A member of staff to be appointed to lead on bereavement care in every hospital department where pregnancy loss and baby death occurs.

  • Bereavement rooms to be available and accessible in all hospitals.

  • All health and social care professionals to receive the highest standard of bereavement care training."

To find out more please read the Baby Loss Awareness week website

Join us for the Global Wave of Light

Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’. October 15th is also International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and is recognised across the world.

Baby Loss Awareness would like to invite you to join with other families across the world and take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’. Simply light a candle at 7pm local time and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died too soon. This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

This year Baby Loss Awareness are also inviting you to join a digital Wave of Light at 7pm local time on October 15. To get involved, take a photo of your candle and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #WaveOfLight at 7pm local time.