If stillbirth/neonatal death only affected one family a day, it would be too many. 17 is a number almost too devastating to think about.
I wanted to do a SANDS awareness photo last year, but I had a newborn baby who had been yanked into the world not breathing and with only the faintest of heartbeats. It was all a bit too close to home and I just couldn’t contemplate it. A year on, it is still something that I find so hard to symbolise with an image, but I’m determined to help be a part of raising awareness of such a worthy cause. Something about the poignancy of bubbles on grass seemed right.
Some cold, hard facts:
• 17 babies die every day in the UK (10 are stillbirths, 7 are neonatal deaths) totalling almost 6,500 baby deaths a year – the equivalent of 16 jumbo jets crashing every year with no survivors
• This is four times the number of people who die every year of MRSA
• This is double the number of adults who lose their lives on Britain’s roads every year
• Ten times more babies are stillborn than die of cot death every year in the UK.
• The stillbirth rate has remained almost unchanged for the past 10 years. (CEMACH)
• 1 in every 200 babies are stillborn in the UK
• 1 in every 300 babies born in the UK die in the first four weeks of life
• In half of all stillbirths the cause remains unexplained, although in more than half of these pregnancies the baby is smaller than it should be
• Many of these babies are born perfectly formed, with no clear reason why they died. We need to understand what is causing these deaths and take action to prevent avoidable losses
• The majority of unexplained stillbirths are in pregnancies that were previously considered low risk
Sands is the UK’s Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity, an organisation which offers support to everyone affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or after birth.
Sands’ core aims are to:
• Support anyone affected by the death of a baby;
• To work in partnership with health professionals to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families; and
• To promote research and changes in practice that could help to reduce the loss of babies’ lives
The death of a baby is a devastating experience. The effects of grief can be overwhelming and parents, their families and friends can be left feeling dazed, disorientated, isolated and exhausted.
The death of a baby can happen to any one of us. It has happened to too many of us.
What brings people together through Sands is the common experience of this painful loss.
June is the national awareness month; with this photograph I hope to do something to raise awareness of the work of this charity. What can you do?
Tagged: , HPAD040610 , bubbles , grass , SANDS , HPAD , HPAD2010