Tragically, pregnancy and baby loss affects up to one in five families in the UK.1 Baby Loss Awareness Week (9th-15th October) provides support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby. The Week is run by a group of charities who work with healthcare professionals and services to improve care and raise awareness of the issue.
The awareness week first began in October 2002 by a group of parents who were inspired by a similar awareness day in the US. By selling handmade blue and pink ribbon pins they raised several thousand pounds for UK organisations supporting bereaved parents. Since 2010 Sands (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) has played a pivotal role in organising and promoting the week as part of its work raising awareness of the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK.
During 9th-15th October bereaved parents, family members and friends can commemorate the all-too-brief lives of their babies, knowing that thousands of other families elsewhere in the world will be doing the same. The week also provides a crucial opportunity for people to talk openly about the subject of baby loss. It ends with Baby Loss Awareness Day on 15th October and the global ‘Wave of Light’ to remember all the babies that have died during pregnancy, at, during or after-birth. Simply light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least 1 hour, this can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be uniting with others across the world in honour of those babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.
To be part of the digital Wave of Light take a photo of your candle and post it to Facebook or Twitter using #WaveOfLight at 7pm.
 NHS Choices, Miscarriage. NHS Choices, London. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Miscarriage/Pages/Introduction.aspx (updated 21st May 2015).
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