Baby Loss Awareness Week tackles isolation

Rainbow Trust will be encouraging bereaved parents to reach out for support during this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020. The message to bereaved parents and families throughout the week is #YouAreNotAlone.

Many bereaved parents describe feelings of isolation after a miscarriage or the death of a baby. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these feelings with parents often being physically isolated as well. Measures to reduce the risk of bringing infection into hospitals have meant some mothers have miscarried alone because of restrictions on having a partner present for appointments or scans, or have felt unsupported visiting a seriously ill baby because limits on hospital visiting.

Rainbow Trust Director of Care, Anne Harris, said:

“The death of a baby is always a hugely difficult and distressing experience for parents, siblings and relatives. But since the start of the pandemic, the need for social distancing has left many bereaved parents unable to access the face-to-face support from friends, family and local services which they would usually be able to receive.

“This Baby Loss Awareness Week, we encourage all those bereaved of a baby to reach out for support for as long as they need it. We know that talking about their bereavement, and finding ways to remember their baby, can be helpful for parents and family members, and each of us can play a part in building a culture where people feel better able to reach out for support."

Running from 9-15 October, the annual awareness week is focussing on different themes each day, including support in the workplace, support for families in Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, and support for LGBTQ+ couples.

Rainbow Trust’s neonatal support continued throughout the national lockdown this year, providing emotional and practical support and hospital transport to many parents whose babies were seriously ill on neonatal wards, often at some distance from the family home. This included transporting breast milk from self-isolating mothers on the Isle of Wight to their babies in hospital on the mainland, to helping to maintain the connection between families at this hugely difficult time.

Where a Family Support Worker would usually spend time with bereaved parents and siblings face-to-face, during the pandemic emotional support has been provided by telephone, through socially distanced walks and through virtual play sessions for children. Teams have lit candles at the time of a baby’s funeral and shared the photos with bereaved families to express their sympathy.

Rainbow Trust will be remembering babies who have died by lighting candles for the international wave of light at 7pm GMT on 15 October. You will be able to find this on our social media channels, @rainbowtrustcc on Instagram and Facebook and Rainbow Trust Children's Charity on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Find out more about Baby Loss Awareness Week here.