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Baby Loss Awareness Week 2017

View profile for Kim Daniells
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Next week is Baby Loss Awareness Week. This is an annual event, providing an opportunity for parents, families and friends to remember their precious baby who has died.

The event is led by SANDS in collaboration with over 40 charities in the UK.

SANDS, and other charities in this sector provide very valuable support to families affected by the loss of a baby. These organisations extend assistance to all those who have lost a baby before, during or after birth.

SANDS is actively involved in campaigning for better bereavement care for those affected. This extends to fundraising and campaigning for specialist facilities within hospitals. These facilities can provide a safe and caring environment for the bereaved in the hours and days immediately after their tragic loss.

We know from our experience of working with, and on behalf of, bereaved families, just how much these facilities are valued. Sadly, it remains the case that not all hospitals have the funds for this type of provision.

We receive many requests for advice from those who have lost babies. Most parents simply seek an explanation so that they can begin to understand the medical reason for their tragic loss. Although the NHS is undoubtedly getting better at providing explanations to bereaved parents, it is sadly still sometimes the case that the newly bereaved are left with little information. Many are frightened to embark upon further pregnancy for fear of further loss.

Occasionally the enquiries we receive are from women who suffered the loss of a baby many decades ago. It is clear that the response of the NHS to the loss of a baby in the 1960s and 1970s fell far short of the help and advice available today. Many of those callers feel they have never had an opportunity to talk openly about their experience. It is also clear that their pain and anguish has not diminished with the passing decades.

We hope that increased awareness from next week's events will encourage those affected to break the silence and to gain comfort from their shared experiences. 

Members of the CNCI team will be participating in a number of events to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week 2017. We will be raising funds for SANDS in the hope that, in a small way, we can contribute to a reduction in preventable deaths and improved support for all those affected.