Special tributes for baby loss awareness week
Airedale Hospital was lit up in pink and blue this week to show support for baby loss awareness week 2018. The annual week, now in its 16th year, is an opportunity for bereaved parents, families and friends, to commemorate babies’ lives and break the silence around pregnancy and baby loss in the UK.
The Sunbeam baby garden and Tree of Tranquility was also unveiled on Sunday. The tree is the first of its kind in England and was funded by Aidan’s Elephants and its placement within the hospital grounds was achieved after a five year collaborative project between Aidan’s Elephants, Airedale Hospital’s Sunbeam (Bereavement) Team and Scottish Charity, SiMBA who have already created and placed five Trees of Tranquility in Scotland.
The hospital’s midwives and parents from the Sunbeam Support Group worked tirelessly to create a beautiful baby remembrance garden to house the Tree. ‘The Sunbeam Garden’ provides a tranquil surrounding for this very special sculpture, a safe and meaningful place where parents can visit to remember and honour their children.
Bev Beaumont, bereavement support midwife at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust added:
“I was personally overwhelmed by how many people had attended the launch. We received a large amount of positive comments about the wonderful work that had been achieved and how happy they were that bereavement support was now much more evident in acknowledgement of their loss. This is so important for affected families and the garden will continue to be symbolic of this.”
Staff and parents also joined in the global Wave of Light on Monday 15th October by adding candles to the tree and lighting the garden. The date is internationally recognised as ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day’ when thousands of families across the world join together lighting candles at 7pm to remember their babies.
Sarah Simpson, Head of Midwifery at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am extremely proud of the work we have done with Aidan’s Elephants, SiMBA and the parents of the Sunbeam support group to bring all this to fruition. We hope turning our hospital pink and blue will help start conversations about baby loss and give bereaved parents and families an opportunity to talk about their precious babies.”
Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said: “Baby Loss Awareness Week is a unique opportunity for parents to commemorate their babies who died, and I hope bereaved families in our area seeing the hospital lit up pink and blue will feel less isolated and alone in their grief.
“Pregnancy loss or the death of a baby is a tragedy that affects thousands of people every year. It is devastating for parents and families and it’s vital they get the bereavement support and care they need, for as long as they need it.”
For further information about Baby Loss Awareness Week visit: www.babyloss-awareness.org