Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place from 9th to 15th October 2015 culminating in an international “Wave of Light” on Thursday 15th October which marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. Candles are lit around the world to remember all of the babies that have died during pregnancy, during or after birth.
The awareness event gives families the opportunity to commemorate their babies lives, but also highlights the emotional impact of pregnancy and infant loss.
The charities leading Baby Loss Awareness Week provide invaluable support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby and work together with health professionals and services to improve care.
In the UK one in 5 families are affected by the loss of an infant either during pregnancy, during or after birth.
In 2013 around 10 babies every day were still born, with 3 in 10 stillbirths happening at term (37 weeks gestation).
Although major congenital abnormalities can be a reason for still births, they only account for 10% of babies who die. Stillbirths which are classified as “unexplained” account for almost two thirds of cases and are sometimes attributable to problems with the placenta potentially meaning the baby has not grown as well as it should having had blood and oxygen supply compromised in some way. In cases where babies have not reached their growth potential or begin growing well but do not continue, stillbirth is a potential risk.
Stillbirth may also happen because of reasons such as placenta abruption, infection, gestational diabetes, or pre-eclampsia.
Neonatal death, i.e. deaths which occur in babies within the first 28 days of life, have dropped considerably over the last decade, owing to vast advances in medical knowledge and clinical care.
The Office for National Statistics records that in 2013, 1 in 370 babies died within the first 4 weeks of life in the UK. Although many babies who die within the first 4 weeks of life have a congenital disorder or were born prematurely, around 500 babies die every year because of trauma or an event during birth that was not anticipated or well managed. Many of the deaths which occur at term could be avoided with better care.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by stillbirth or neonatal death which may have been caused by clinical negligence, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or telephone 0800 316 8892.