The loss of any loved one can be an extremely difficult period at any time, but even more so after the festive period and at the start of a new year.
Losing a baby is a heart-breaking experience which is impossible to imagine, unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
Sadly, 15 babies still die on average each day in the UK, meaning that during December alone, over 450 babies will have been born but sadly not taken home.
For those families, the beginning to a new year will be very different to what they had been expecting, and the impact of such a devastating loss can be far reaching.
It is therefore important that families who do go through this are aware they do not have to face such difficult days alone.
Everyone grieves differently and there’s no right or wrong way to cope.
One of the key aspects of my work is referring bereaved parents to specialist organisations and charities which we know provide excellent, experienced and professional advice.
The national Stillbirth And Neonatal Deaths charity (Sands) is one such service and has been offering support for 40 years. We are proud to have close ties with the excellent Hull branch.
The charity offers services including a dedicated helpline, online forums, family support packs and the creation of memory boxes.
It also has a dedicated Bereavement Support app aimed at helping parents and families to find the right information and support, at the right time. Such support at this time of year is vital for many.
In my role as a solicitor who investigates medical care with regards to baby loss, I have seen how bereaved parents can find this time especially difficult to cope, and the most important thing is to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling, and if needed, seek the support you require.
Certainly, many parents have spoken to me about the positive impact of ‘breaking the silence’ and reaching a point where they have felt able to speak openly about their loss, whether that be with wider family members or a support service such as Sands.
Sands has a very active Facebook community at most times of the day where you can speak to people who’ve been affected by the loss of a baby. You can also visit the Sands website to discover more excellent coping strategies and resources.
Sands National Helpline can also be contacted free on 0808 164 3332 (Freephone) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, you don’t have to be on your own, physically or emotionally, as the support which so many have found so helpful, is freely available.