Baby Loss Awareness Week 2022
5 Min Read
Baby Loss Awareness Week (BLAW) takes place on 9 – 15 October 2022. This annual campaign is brought by over 100 baby loss and pregnancy organisations. It’s three key aims are:
- To remember and commemorate babies’ lives across the world and support bereaved parents and families
- To raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss
- To drive change and improvements in care and support for anyone affected by baby loss
This year’s BLAW celebrates its 20th anniversary in the UK. The theme is ‘Stepping Stones’. This will focus on the steps of a bereaved parent or their family’s journey after baby loss and how this is unique to everyone.
Different types of Baby Loss
- This is when a baby dies within 28 days of their birth.
- Sometimes it is clear how a baby has died but often a post-mortem takes place. Some of the most common causes of neonatal death include: premature birth, infection and complications during or after birth.
- After a baby has died, their birth must be registered before their death is registered.
- This is when a baby dies before or during labour after 24 weeks gestation. If a baby dies before 24 weeks, it is known as a miscarriage or late fetal loss.
- It is not always possible to explain why a stillbirth has occurred. However, this can happen for a variety of reasons, including complications with the placenta, pre-eclampsia, infection and haemorrhage. There are also risk factors that increase the risk of stillbirth such as having twins or a multiple pregnancy.
- Factors such as a baby’s growth and movements should be monitored during pregnancy. Any concerns should be picked up and actioned appropriately. In most cases this happensbut tragically, sometimes this monitoring and action does not take place in time.
- After a stillbirth, labour may progress naturally or may be induced.
- A stillbirth should be registered within 42 days.
- There are many types of miscarriage, including early miscarriage – when a pregnancy is lost in the first 3 months and late miscarriage – when a pregnancy is lost after 12 weeks.
- A miscarriage can be complete or incomplete. A complete miscarriage is when the pregnancy tissues come away from the womb entirely. No medical intervention is required. An incomplete miscarriage is when not all the pregnancy tissues come away. This usually requires medical intervention.
- This is when a fertilised egg starts to grow somewhere other than in the normal lining of the womb. The egg usually grows in one of the fallopian tubes.
- An ectopic pregnancy is usually diagnosed by performing an ultrasound scan and taking blood tests.
- The pregnancy will not progress and usually has to be stopped with medication or surgery. This can include an injection to stop the pregnancy growing or keyhole surgery to remove the egg. Sometimes the affected fallopian tube also has to be removed.
20th Anniversary of Baby Loss Awareness Week
Being the 20th Anniversary of Baby Loss Awareness Week, we decided to look back at how the week started and how it has got to where it is today.
On 15 October 2002, the UK had its first Baby Loss Awareness Day. A group of parents launched the day by selling handmade blue and pink ribbon pins. They raised money in order to support bereaved parents in the UK.
2003 saw the first full week dedicated to baby loss. The week ended with a ‘Wave of Light’ service in London and across the UK.
In 2004, five Baby Loss organisations came together to campaign more collaboratively:
- Sands – https://www.sands.org.uk/
- The Miscarriage Association – https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
- The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust – https://ectopic.org.uk/
- ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices) – https://www.arc-uk.org/
- com – http://www.babyloss.com/
In 2006, the two-colour ribbon was introduced alongside the ribbon pins.
Our Claire Stoneman, who leads our baby loss team at Enable Law, has been a member and supporter of Sands for many years. Sands has had a key role in organising the week for many years and also promotes the week as part of their work to raise awareness of the issues around pregnancy and baby loss.
Baby Loss Awareness Week 2022 remains crucial in raising awareness of pregnancy and baby loss within the UK and indeed throughout the world. Every baby death is a tragic event that affects thousands of parents and families in the UK alone each year. Throughout the week, bereaved parents and their families will unite with others across the world to commemorate the lives of their babies who sadly passed away.
What can you do to support Baby loss awareness week 2022?
- Purchase a ribbon from the dedicated BLAW website
- Join the global Wave of Light at 7pm on 15 October 2022 – light a candle and leave it burning for at least one hour in remembrance.
- Put up a BLAW poster which you can download here
Are you concerned about whether something went wrong during your pregnancy or after your baby was born?
A medical negligence claim is an opportunity for parents and their families to make sure the same mistakes are not repeated again. If you have any worries or concerns about whether your baby was stillborn or died because something went wrong, either in the care before or after the birth, Enable Law can work with you to help you get the answers you need.
We recognise the devastating impact that losing a baby has on all of the family. We will work with you to determine what happened and whether the care provided was substandard. We are committed to helping you get the answers you need and supporting you every step of the way.
If you have questions about the care you or your baby received and believe mistakes were made, we are here to help. Contact us today.