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Baby Loss Awareness Week shines a light on stillbirth and baby loss9th October 2019
Today marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019 in the UK. It is an important event which runs from the 9th to the 15th October and allows bereaved parents and their family and friends the opportunity to raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss and to share their stories. Baby Loss Awareness Week offers an opportunity to spark necessary discussions and change in order to improve how health professionals and other services deal with bereavement and potentially preventable deaths. Candles will be lit worldwide at 7pm on the 15th October in memory of babies who have died.
Baby loss is something that impacts upon thousands of people every year and it is of course important for all of us to be aware of how unimaginably devastating it is for the families involved. Often baby loss can be unexpected and shocking and families can be left feeling lost and unsure of where to turn in what should have been one of the happiest times of their lives. The support provided by doctors, midwives and other health professionals in the period following the loss of a baby is fundamental in providing the answers families’ need, in helping them through their grief and in ensuring that lessons are learned where mistakes have been made.
I represent, and am often contacted by, parents who have been affected by the loss of a baby. I have noticed that one of the main factors in a parent deciding to contact me or one of my colleagues in JMW’s clinical negligence team is that they have been left without answers and with little or no information as to the cause of their babies’ death. It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that where possible parents are given the time to speak to the professionals who were involved in their care and to get the answers they need.
Baby Loss Awareness Week represents just one of the positive steps being taken towards raising greater awareness of stillbirth and baby loss, however much more can be still be done. It is important to keep having these discussions and to highlight just how vital it is for improvements to continue to be made.