June is SANDS Awareness Month
17 babies a day are born sleeping or they died soon after birth and the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) wants to raise money as well as awareness about stillbirth and neonatal death.
As well as raising money to allow SANDS to continue supporting parents, raising awareness of stillbirth and neonatal death can help to stop it being a taboo subject, which no-one want to talk about especially to the parents whose baby has died.
When a baby dies, it is a tragedy which parents, grandparents and siblings will never get over and it can be an incredibly isolating time. It is also hard for family, friends and colleagues, who often don’t know what to do or say but the truth is there are very few rights and wrongs.
It is almost five years since my baby son died and I remember with fondness all the hugs, the tears, the emotions and the words of kindness from friends and I am still hurt by the actions of the people who avoided me or asked if I was over it yet.
Be sensitive, don’t avoid grieving parents, say what comes from the heart, let them cry, encourage them to talk, listen but try not to tell them what they should be doing or feeling. There is more information on supporting parents on the SANDS website.
Throughout June I will be writing about SANDS and how to support parents whose baby has died, as well as supporting the siblings, who are also affected by the death of their baby brother or sister.