Empty arms, Shattered dreams
Breaking the silence surrounding the aftermath of pregnancy loss
National Baby Loss Awareness Day October 15
About Baby Loss Awareness:
Brief history of the campaign
October 15th 2002 was the inaugural Baby Loss Awareness Day in the UK and was initiated by a group of parents inspired by Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. Through the sale of hand-made blue and pink ribbon pins they raised several thousand pounds for UK organisations supporting bereaved parents.
The 2003 campaign saw the first ‘Wave of Light’ service held at the American Church in London and attended by representatives and members of each participating organisation. There were also services held across the UK from Scotland to Surrey. Once again, the ribbon pins were made and sold by bereaved parents.
Since 2004 the campaign has been more formal collaboration between the four charities. Each year has seen an increase in the number of events around the UK. The ribbon pins are still hand-made by bereaved parents, their families and friends.
Aims of the campaign
Promote October 15th as National Baby Loss Awareness Day within the UK
Promote the annual “Global Wave of Light” events and services where parents can acknowledge their losses.
Promote awareness and understanding of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss among health and social care workers and the community at large.
We intend to build on the experience of previous years and encourage more ‘Wave of Light’ services and balloon releases across the UK, and continue to sell the ribbon pins. If you would like to get involved either to help organise an event or sell ribbon pins or simply want more information:
Marion on 07900 495436
The organisations involved
Each group offers support and information in their own areas of expertise, for anyone personally affected by pregnancy or baby loss and/or those caring for them.
ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices)
Registered Charity No: 299770
Jane Fisher 0207 631 0280
ARC is the only national charity which provides non-directive support and information to parents throughout the antenatal testing process, to help parents arrive at the most appropriate decision for them in the context of their family life. ARC aim to provide:
Support and information to parents who have to make decisions during the antenatal testing process via a national helpline, a national support network an email support group and our range of literature.
Continuing support – whatever decisions parents take about the future of the pregnancy.
Improvements in professional practice through training, talks and conferences.
In the UK around 700,000 women will become pregnant every year and every one of these will be offered some form of testing. As a result more than 35,000 women will be told that there is a risk that their unborn baby may have a serious abnormality.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity No: 1071811
Izzie Oakley 020 7733 2653
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust was established in 1998, to raise awareness of ectopic pregnancies amongst women of childbearing age, the medical profession and the general public. The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust aim to:
Provide support and information to couples who have suffered an ectopic pregnancy through their leaflets and via a dedicated helpline and website which includes a moderated message board.
Support research into the underlying causes, treatment and prevention of ectopic pregnancy.
Improve the diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancies through the establishment of Best Practice Guidelines and supporting education and training for health professionals about the condition.
Ectopic pregnancy affects 1 in 80 pregnancies in the UK, with at least 32,000 admissions into hospital every Year. An average of five deaths per year are caused by this condition. This figure has not fallen in the past 20 years and the incidence of ectopic pregnancy is rising.
The Miscarriage Association
Registered Charity No: 1076829
Ruth Bender Atik 01924 200 795
Miscarriage can be a very unhappy, frightening and lonely experience. The Miscarriage Association provides support and information to those suffering the effects of pregnancy loss by:
- Providing support and information to anyone affected by pregnancy loss by means of a staffed helpline, volunteer telephone contacts, local support groups and a website.
Publishing leaflets, fact-sheets and audiotapes that answer the most frequently asked questions about pregnancy loss.
Running training days for health professionals to promote sensitive practice in caring for patients with pregnancy loss.
More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage – meaning an estimated 250,000 miscarriages in the U.K. each year. While individual reactions to pregnancy loss vary, many women and their partners find their experience deeply distressing and isolating. Emotional support and clear information can make a real difference in helping people cope with the experience of pregnancy loss.
Sands, the stillbirth & neonatal death charity
Registered Charity No: 299679
Neal Long 0207 436 7940
Sands, the stillbirth & neonatal death charity supports anyone affected by the death of a baby and promotes research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.
Sands has been supporting parents and families whose baby has died for more than 27 years. Today, Sands supports over 4,000 parents every year and works with health and social care professionals to improve the quality of services provided to bereaved families.
Offers support and information to anyone affected by the death of a baby through a national helpline,a moderated support forum, local Groups, support leaflets and a website.
Works to improve care through its “Guidelines for Health Professionals” and by fundraising for facilities such as a special room within a hospital.
Promotes research into the causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths and changes in practice that could save more babies’ lives.
In the UK, 17 babies a day are stillborn or die within the first twenty eight days of life. While Sands has to date concentrated primarily on bereavement support, it is now increasingly using the strong links established with health professionals to focus also on prevention.
© Baby Loss Awareness campaign 2011
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