Women who have lost their baby in early pregnancy will receive care packages over the next few weeks from the national charity, Life.
As part of its Baby Loss Matters Programme which runs in about 250 churches countrywide, Life will send over 100 care packages to churches and hospitals, to be distributed to women who have experienced early pregnancy loss. An early pregnancy loss happens from conception up to 12 weeks and is where care providers struggle the most to offer substantial support. Included in the packages are facemasks, hair conditioners, cosy socks, tea bags and chocolate bars, a remembrance candle, testimonies from women who have experienced baby loss and information about Life’s support helpline.
Life Baby Loss Matters Coordinator Hannah Batten said, ”The care packages are being introduced in response to NHS services being squeezed and many women who lose their baby in early miscarriage being told they are not able to access support services. One lady from Slough reported that she miscarried her baby at 7 weeks and was denied access to the Early Pregnancy Unit at the local hospital because she was “not pregnant enough.” When she called a few weeks later as she was struggling emotionally, she asked to speak to the grief midwife but was told “We don’t allow that for early pregnancy loss, the grief midwife only deals with the bigger ones.” Sadly this situation is fairly common and hundreds of women every day leave hospitals with no support; sent home to hide their grief in silence. As we heard in the personal story of the Duchess of Sussex recently, women who may appear happy and normal actually grieve silently for their lost baby. Yet they are expected to go back to work, care for existing children and carry on with life as if nothing is wrong.
Our care packages are designed to be taken home by women, to encourage them to take time for themselves to process their emotions and to contact us whenever they feel ready to talk. The silence surrounding miscarriage, and society’s expectation that women should “get on with it” is what makes reaching out for help, so hard for them. No matter what gestation a baby is lost, every woman should have access to the support she needs to find healing.”
The care packages are being distributed at churches and hospitals in Luton, Leicester, Reading, Watford and London. This year Baby Loss Matters is partnering with a community project, Promise of Hope, which is distributing care packages to the same hospitals but for parents with babies in the NICU. The Promise of Hope packages are designed to provide hope and point parents in need of support, to Life’s support services.
If you are a church or care provider who would like to be part of our initiative in supporting women and families following the loss of a baby at any stage, then you can sign up for our free care packages and memorial literature on our website: https://babylossmatters.lifecharity.org.uk/churches/