Baby Loss Awareness Week – now in its 21st year – is an opportunity to come together and give anyone touched by pregnancy and baby loss a safe and supportive space to share their experiences and feel they are not alone.
To help raise awareness staff at Newcastle Hospitals held a drop in event at the RVI where patients, staff and visitors could come together to raise awareness of the importance of speaking about pregnancy and baby loss. Staff from Maternity, Neonatal Intensive Care, and Mortuary were on hand to share some of the work they do to support bereaved families. The staff were joined by 4Louis and SANDS which are charities that support bereaved families outside the hospital, and there was also an opportunity to remember those babies who have sadly died. This drop in event was also kindly supported by the Newcastle Hospitals Charity.
Chloe Coates, Bereavement Lead Midwife at the RVI said: “It is so important that families know that they are not alone and that their babies are not forgotten. Talking about baby loss can be uncomfortable so people often say nothing out of fear of saying the wrong thing. While well intentioned, this leads to families living in silence.”
“I really want to encourage everyone to try and be open to talking about baby loss so that more families feel able to share their experiences and remember their babies openly.”
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place every year from the 9 to 15 October and has three main aims; remembrance, raising awareness and driving change. Events take place around the country that include the lighting up of monuments such as the Gateshead millennium bridge in pink and blue, and a range of fundraising efforts.
The week culminated in a ‘wave of light’ where people are encouraged to place candles in their windows. Baby loss is still a taboo subject within society and this impacts on families’ ability to process their loss. By encouraging people to talk about it we can recognise the experiences of bereaved families and show them they are not alone, helping them to process their loss.
Support is available for anyone who has been impacted by pregnancy and baby and more information can be found here.