The death of a baby is, thankfully, very rare, but when it happens, we are here to support the siblings and their family through their bereavement.
The families we have supported have had a late miscarriage, stillborn baby or their baby has died as a result of illness or sudden, unexpected death within the first year of life.
We can offer support when the time is right for the family – immediately after the death or some time later. Sometimes, this is years later.
We also support families whose children were very young at the time of the death but need help as they grow older, so referrals are often made several years later to help the child to navigate their bereavement as they grow up.
When a baby dies, we are here to support at any time that we are needed.
Meeting other families who are also bereaved after the death of a baby can be so crucial to some families and our one-day group day offers this opportunity.
Families we support often feel very isolated – they are usually the only ones to have experienced the death of their baby within their family or friendship groups. Families who have joined our group support have felt less isolated, less alone and realise that they aren’t the only ones who are grieving their baby.
Carrying on with daily family life with other children or seeing friends enjoying their babies can be very hard when your baby has died and supporting your other children through their bereavement can be very difficult whilst you manage your own.
Many dads have told us that they feel they have to be strong all the time to support their family but the group allowed them to share, often for the first time, their grief.
Some parents feel their child is bottling up their thoughts and feelings, not wanting to share them for fear of further upsetting their parents.
Other families need support as they look to the future and plan another baby, but fear of losing another child makes it hard.
We invite the whole family, or those who need support within it, and the day is structured around activities that involve everyone, plus activities where the children and parents go off to different rooms for their support.
We partner with baby loss charity Abigail’s Footsteps, who aim to improve the care given around stillborn and neonatal bereavement.
Information about our Baby Loss support
When do you hold the sessions?
We hold support sessions once or twice a year – it is dependent on how many families are referred to us.
How do I get involved?
You can refer your family for our support or ask a bereavement midwife to refer you.
Support sessions are offered face to face and take place at a venue in Sittingbourne, from 9:30am – 4pm, usually on a Saturday.
During the morning, we split into two groups; one for parents and another for the children so each have the space to talk freely about what happened.
In the afternoon, we run workshops for parents and children to work together.
Some families need, prefer and will benefit more from one-to-one support and this is offered at home, or wherever they feel most comfortable.
Our support is for both siblings and parents, tailored to best meet their needs and age group.
We usually start with six sessions together, then if further help is needed, we look at the next steps.
Some families feel able to join in the group support but others continue with one-to-one support; we do what is best for the family.
How to refer:
You can refer you and your family or you can be referred by a professional who is already supporting you.
The support we offer is free.
Refer a child.
Here’s what children said after receiving baby loss support:
I made lots of new friends and they all too have lost a brother or sister. My mum and Dad made new friends too.
I made lots of lovely thing to help me remember.
I really liked all the glitter.
I liked making the feelings biscuits.
I liked telling my story and sharing my pictures of my sister.
I liked making our special memory canvas and family tree.
Play time was good playing football with my new friends.
Making our special candle holder and our special flower display was good.
We had lots of lovely things to eat, a goodie bag and special teddy to take home with us to help me remember my special day.
Here’s what parents say about the support we have given them:
“It’s a huge relief to be with others who knew exactly how we were feeling because they had been through it too.”
“Being able to speak our child’s name and make such beautiful memory items has brought us closer together as a couple.”
“We were able to talk openly about how let down we felt following the loss of our baby and the lack of support due to Covid.”
“Seeing our children make friends with other children there and it was lovely seeing them all talking about their brother or sister and it all being very natural. They flourished on the day and couldn’t wait to join in with everything.”
“We all shared tears, including the dads, feeling totally accepted.”
“One dad shared about the courage it took for him to come today and share his story. It was the first time he had managed to talk about it, since the death of his baby and being with other dads had given him that extra push he needed to do it. All dads swapped addresses and hope to meet up again soon over a beer.”
“The whole event was so well thought out, with no pressure to join in with anything you didn’t want to. It was lovely us having the time to do things as a couple but also knowing the children were enjoying their support group too and when we all did things as a family it helped us to feel complete.”
With thanks to Abigail’s Footsteps for their funding of this service.