Charities supporting those who lost a baby
8 Min Read
Baby loss is lifechanging and nothing is ever the same again. Dealing with the grief is not something that has to be tackled alone thanks to all the wonderful charities, organisations and support that is available. Baby Loss Awareness Week (BLAW) enables bereaved families and friends to join together and remember their babies. Discussing baby loss openly and honestly not only helps people feel less alone but also paves the way for greater public awareness of baby loss and vital funding for research to reduce the number of babies who die unnecessarily. Getting the right support is one of the stepping stones towards finding a new normal and adjusting to the different path in your life. Below are some Charities and organisations which may help you find the support you need.
The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity – Sands
Sands is a neonatal and stillbirth charity founded in 1978 by two bereaved parents. They are committed to funding research which is hoped will help improve pre-natal care to reduce the number of families that face the heartbreak of losing a baby.
Sands also provides support for bereaved parents as well as siblings, grandparents, friends and NHS professionals. Sands have spent years developing a variety of services and avenues of support across the UK to respond to the many different ways that people grieve.
- Online GriefChat
- Free Telephone Helpline – 0808 164 3332
- The Sands Bereavement Support App
- Local Support Groups
- Online Community and Facebook Groups
- Memory Boxes
Whether you have lost a baby recently, or some time ago, Sands recognises that the death of your baby remains with you forever and they are there to talk anytime you need. To find out more about the services that Sands can offer, please see their homepage which can be found here: https://www.sands.org.uk/
The power of subtle support – Aching Arms
Aching Arms provides support to bereaved parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy, at birth or soon after. They offer a comfort bear to fill your arms and provide a community to support and help you grieve. Each Aching Arms bear is provided from one bereaved family to another, with each bear being personalised with the name of the baby in whose memory the bear is devoted. In 2020, Aching Arms also introduced a Dandelion Bear, for bereaved grandparents or siblings, who also wish to cuddle a bear to support them through the loss of the baby who sadly died.
Aching Arms also run a telephone and email support service for families, Supporting Arms, which is run by bereaved parents. This provides an opportunity to speak with someone who truly knows what you are going through and is a way for you to share your experience, speak about your feelings and obtain advice. Supporting Arms can be contacted on 07464 508994 or email email@example.com.
If you would like to request or donate a Comfort Bear, then please visit the Aching Arms website here: https://www.achingarms.co.uk/
Group B Streptococcus Support – GBSS
Group B Strep Support (GBSS) was founded in 1996 by Robert and Jane Plumb after the loss of their baby who sadly died of Group B Strep infection. GBSS are the world’s leading charity with the aim to eradicate the UK’s most common cause of severe infection in newborns. GBSS is committed to funding important research to educate both the medical profession and families about the signs and symptoms of infection.
GBSS have a free helpline where you can contact them on 0330 120 0796 or firstname.lastname@example.org for general information or they can sign post you to other organisations for bereavement or peer support. For more information, please visit https://gbss.org.uk/
Daddys with Angels
Daddys with Angels are a global charity founded by Paul Scully-Sloan in 2010, following the sudden loss of his baby son. In trying to deal with his loss, Paul searched for help but found there was a real lack of support for bereaved fathers. In light of this Paul took it upon himself to provide ‘Dad only’ group support sessions, where fathers, uncles, grandfathers and brothers can share their stories with other individuals who have experienced baby loss.
If you would like further information or to join a support group with Daddys Angels, then please follow the link here: https://www.daddyswithangels.org/
Supporting Research – Tommy’s: Together, for every baby
Funding for research into baby loss is so important to help improve pre-natal care and reduce the number of families who face the heartbreak of losing a child. Tommy’s was founded in 1992 by two obstetricians who refused to accept the lack of explanation surrounding premature births, with their mission statement being that “losing a baby should never be ‘just one of those things’.”
Since 1997 various medical research centres have been opened and in 2002, Tommy’s opened up their very own Pregnancy Line, which enables women to speak directly to Tommy’s Midwives and provides a safe space to raise their concerns. However, the hotline is not just for advice during pregnancy, the midwives are also able to provide advice and signposting to parents following a neonatal death. If you seek advice but do not wish to talk to someone over the phone, Tommy’s website provides links to books, podcasts and forums which provide guidance on how to deal with the emotional trauma of losing a baby. Tommy’s have since created an alliance with the NHS to share all of their knowledge to ensure that babies and their parents receive the best care possible.
If you would like more information as to how you can access support from Tommys following baby loss or how you can support pioneering research, then please follow the link here: https://www.tommys.org/
The Baby Loss Counselling Charity – Petals
Research has shown that pregnancy related trauma or the loss of a baby is devasting for a couple and can be hugely impactful on relationships. The lack of support provision within the healthcare system means couples are often left to navigate their grief alone. Therefore, Petals was founded in 2011 by a previous NHS Counsellor who understood the importance of counselling to help bereaved parents adjust to this enormous change in their life.
Petals has become widely recognised within the NHS Maternity sector for the life changing support that they provide to parents who are suffering with their mental health after baby loss. A recent study found that out of 280 clients who received counselling with Petals, only 27 still felt they were suffering with anxiety or depression after their initial counselling treatment.
If you are looking for support with your mental health after baby loss, please visit Petals’ website here: https://petalscharity.org/
Remembrance Services – Saying Goodbye
Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates are the founders of Saying Goodbye. Zoe and Andy have tragically suffered the loss of a baby five times and have therefore experienced first hand what support was missing in baby loss bereavement. In light of this, Saying Goodbye was launched to meet the needs of thousands of bereaved parents across the globe, focusing on providing Remembrance Services.
Saying Goodbye are the first Charity to hold international Services, with 137 taking place across the world since 2012. Their Remembrance Services are free (no ticket needed), open to those of faith and no faith and take place across the UK. The aim of Saying Goodbye is to provide people with an opportunity to grieve with other people who know and understand the pain of losing a baby.
If you wish to attend a Saying Goodbye Service all remaining services for 2022 are listed on their website https://www.sayinggoodbye.org/
How we can help
The impact of baby loss is immeasurable and is something that no parent expects to happen to them. Wanting to understand and obtain answers as to what happened and why it happened is natural and is extremely important to all the families we have spoken with and advised over the years. Here at Enable Law, we can help you find those answers and also bring about change to ensure that lessons are learnt for the future. We understand that the pain and loss parents are suffering and will continue to experience for the rest of their lives will never met by financial compensation but, for some families, investigating a medical negligence claim, sharing their story, and improving care is an essential part of re-building their lives.
If you have questions about the care you or your baby received during your pregnancy or during or after birth and believe mistakes were made, you can contact us.