Baby Loss Awareness Week 2021

By admin, Thursday, 7th October 2021 | 0 comments

- The National Maternity Hospital to light up in pink and blue for families who have lost babies  - 

The bereavement team at The National Maternity Hospital (NMH) join Feileacain in asking landmarks and businesses to light up in pink and blue as part of the International Wave of Light on Friday the 15th of October in honour of all the babies who have died during pregnancy or after birth.

One in four women will experience the loss of a pregnancy or infant. In Ireland, there are approximately 380 babies who are stillborn or die shortly after birth each year; that is more than one baby every day. Approximately, one in every five pregnancies will end in miscarriage, 50% of which is unexplained.

The loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy is a devastating experience for parents and the wider family. In its 19th year, Baby Loss Awareness Week, which falls from Saturday October 9, aims to raise awareness of babies who have sadly passed away due to pregnancy or infant loss. It gives parents, grandparents, siblings and wider family and friends the opportunity to connect and commemorate babies’ lives, however long ago they died.

This year Baby Loss Awareness Week will focus on a general theme of ‘wellbeing’ and exploring what this means to people touched by pregnancy loss.

Speaking about the importance of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Sarah Cullen Bereavement CMS at The NMH explains, ‘The grief felt when a baby dies never leaves. Parents need to know that they are not alone and there is support available to them in the months and years following their baby’s death. Pregnancy loss is often not spoken about and is mourned in private with little support. This has become even more challenging over the past eighteen months when support services and normal social gatherings have been reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions. As a team in The NMH, we strive to provide the highest quality bereavement care to our families and have developed new services during the pandemic to ensure parents are receiving the support they need’.

The NMH Foundation raises funds for the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, which provides world class perinatal, neonatal, and maternal care to more than 9,000 patients every year. This year, it is inviting the public to put its best foot forward on the 15th October in memory of cherished babies who lost their lives.

Mary O’Donovan, Executive & Funding Director, said “We are inviting people to support the NMH Foundation’s Walk to Remember by walking 5k on Friday 15th of October when many buildings around the world will be lighting up in pink and blue to commemorate all precious babies who sadly died too soon’.

If you would like to join the Bereavement Team and other participants around the country in The NMH Foundation virtual walk, please create your 'Walk to Remember' page on https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NMHWalkToRemember by clicking the orange button 'start fundraising'.

Once your fundraising page has raised €25, you will receive a unique 'Walk to Remember' t-shirt as a special thank you for your support! There is a special heart on the t-shirt so you can write the name of the precious baby you are remembering.”

The NMH is also encouraging people to join its staff at 7pm on the 15th October in The International Wave of Light by lighting a candle in memory of all babies’ who have gone too soon.

The hospital is extending an open invitation to all to share photos of landmarks/businesses lit up in pink and blue and/or candles on social media with the hashtags #TheNMH #BLAW #BLAW2021 #BabyLoss and #internationalwaveoflight

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For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson from The NMH or The NMH Foundation www.nmhfoundation.ie, please contact

Jennie Cotter jennie.cotter@nmh.ie | 086 776 1890

Notes to editors:

Supports available at The National Maternity Hospital for bereaved parents

TLC Clinic – TLC is a specialised clinic specifically designed to support women who previously suffered recurrent miscarriage. The clinic was established by Dr Cathy Allen, Consultant in charge of the Recurring Miscarriage Service at the hospital, to offer greater support to women who have suffered recurrent pregnancy loss.

Early Pregnancy Loss Support Group - A monthly, online early pregnancy loss support group for women and their partners who have experienced loss through ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy or first trimester miscarriage at The NMH. It is facilitated by a Midwife Specialist in Bereavement & Loss.

Bereavement Clinics - There are three specialised consultant led bereavement clinics providing follow up care for couples who have experienced pregnancy loss through miscarriage and stillbirth. Follow up with a consultant neonatologist is arranged on an individual basis for parents whose baby has died in the neonatal period. These clinics provide an opportunity for couples to be counselled, in a timely manner, in relation to results of medical investigations carried out following the pregnancy loss. The provision of medical certificates in relation to stillbirth and neonatal death are completed, where relevant and given to parents at this time so that they can register their baby’s birth/ death.

For further information on bereavement services at The NMH, please visit https://www.nmh.ie/support-services/bereavement-chaplaincy.13636.html

The following websites also offer excellent support and resources for bereaved parents and their families

Féileacáin (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland) - https://feileacain.ie/

The Miscarriage Association of Ireland - http://miscarriage.ie

Leanbh Mo Chroi - https://lmcsupport.ie/

A Little Lifetime Foundation - https://alittlelifetime.ie

Cork miscarriage website - https://www.corkmiscarriage.com