Baby Loss Awareness Week is an opportunity to break the taboos around talking about baby loss. It brings together those touched by pregnancy and baby loss as a community, creating a safe and supportive space to share experiences, feel heard and valued and feel less alone. .
Parents and families say it’s important that they each find a way to remember their baby in a way that suits them.
This could be through special services, such as the Snowdrops remembrance ceremony on the 14th October, or the Global Wave of Light on the 15th October.
Baby Loss Awareness Week brings together real stories, resources, support and organisations that can help you if you’re affected by pregnancy and baby loss.
Focus On Wellbeing
Baby Loss Awareness Week is now in its 19th year and the theme this year is Wellbeing. Essentially, the aim is to explore what this means to people who have been affected by pregnancy and baby loss.
This also includes looking after the health workers, who have been under immense pressure during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each day of the week has a special focus on wellbeing with themes including;
- Looking after yourself
- Looking after those who provide care and support and those on the frontline
- Looking after siblings (children and adults)
- Looking after partners
- Looking after each other as a community
- Remembering your baby
Aims Of Baby Loss Awareness Week
If you have not heard of Baby Loss Awareness Week before, or if this is the first year you need support, there are three main aims of the week. They are;
- To support bereaved parents and families and to unite with others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives and lost pregnancies.
- To raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss.
- To drive improvements in care and support for anyone affected and in the prevention of pregnancy and baby loss.
Footsteps Counselling & Care
If you live in Gloucestershire and you are affected by pregnancy issues, fertility problems, traumatic birth or baby loss, then you can get help directly from Footsteps Counselling & Care.
The charity provides dedicated one to one or couples counselling support to anyone in Gloucestershire struggling with pregnancy related issues or loss.
If you need support from Footsteps Counselling and Care, there is no charge for services, but if you’re able to donate, it will help to support the work.
As well as the essential support that Footsteps Counselling &and Care can give, the charity is also a member of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance, a non profit group of organisations supporting families with baby loss.
The Baby Loss Awareness Alliance are committed to raising awareness of pregnancy and baby loss and providing support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby. They also work with health professionals and services to improve bereavement care, and to reduce preventable deaths.
Snowdrops: A Baby Remembrance Ceremony
Losing a baby is a completely unique and devastating experience for each family. How you choose to remember your baby is completely up to you. If you live in Gloucestershire, you are welcome to attend the first Footsteps Counselling & Care Snowdrops event.
This is a Baby Remembrance Ceremony which takes place on Thursday 14th October 2021 from 7pm to 8pm at the Barnwood Reading Room in Gloucester.
Snowdrops is a non-religious ceremony, led by a professional celebrant. Anyone and any beliefs are welcome to attend, remember and reflect. Tickets are free, but limited in number, so you will need to register for attendance.
If you can’t make it in person, Snowdrops will also be live streamed on the Footsteps Counselling and Care Facebook page and website and recorded to view later, so you can take part however you want.
Wave of Light
Alternatively, you can choose to be part of this year’s Wave of Light on Friday 15th October as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
To get involved, all you have to do is light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least one hour to remember all babies that have died too soon. You can also join the virtual Wave of Light, and take a photo of your candle, then post it to social media using the hashtag #Waveoflight at 7pm.
Wherever and however you do this, you’ll be joining a global community lighting candles in memory of all the babies who lit up lives for a short time.
Baby Loss Awareness Week Action
A vital part of Baby Loss Awareness Week is bringing together the essential services to support bereaved families. Another part is to raise awareness of government policy and action surrounding baby loss.
Recently, MPs held a debate ahead of Baby Loss Awareness Week, including powerful speeches from many MPs sharing their own experiences.
The issues raised from this debate included;
- The need for more staff and resources in maternity services
- Better bereavement and mental health care after pregnancy and baby loss
- More action to reduce avoidable deaths
Following the debate, the government made commitments including;
- Further action on funding for bereavement suites
- More specialist staff and training
You may like to know that there has been campaigning success in the past thanks to Baby Loss Awareness Week actions.
In April 2021, NHS England announced more mental health support for bereaved mothers. This came from the 2019 Out of Sight, Out of Mind campaign. The aim being that all parents who experience pregnancy or baby loss and need specialist psychological support can access it at a time and place that is right for them, free of charge, wherever they live.
If you’d like to get involved in policy and campaigning you can find out more information on the Baby Loss Awareness Week website.
Where To Get Support
You may have recently suffered from losing a baby or it could have been years ago. However you are feeling now, there is specialist support available to you. Footsteps Counselling & Care is just one of many charities with a vision for helping bereaved families. Other national support services include:
- The Lullaby Trust
- The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
- The Miscarriage Trust
Please do visit our support hub for more information and organisations that may be able to help.
Footsteps is here to help if you have been affected by any pregnancy related issues including loss at any time and for any reason.