SANDS Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Awareness Month
Every year, thousands of families in the UK face the heartbreak of stillbirth and neonatal death. To raise awareness about these tragic losses and support those affected, SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) designates the month of June as Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Awareness Month to talk more about the issues surrounding stillbirth and neonatal death in the UK so we can work together to provide better support, raise awareness, and strive for prevention.
In the UK, stillbirth refers to the loss of a baby before or during birth, after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Neonatal death refers to the loss of a baby within the first 28 days of life. These devastating events can have long-lasting emotional and psychological impacts on families, which is why raising awareness and working hard to research issues is crucial.
According to recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, there were approximately 3,300 stillbirths annually, or 1 in every 250 pregnancies, equating to approximately 9 stillbirths every day  Neonatal deaths are equally heartbreaking and affect families across the nation. In the UK, it is estimated that around 2,000 babies die within the first 28 days of life each year, averaging approximately 5 neonatal deaths per day .
In times of immense grief and loss, Edward’s Trust play a crucial role in providing compassionate and holistic support to families affected by stillbirth and neonatal death. We provide a range of services tailored to meet the unique needs of grieving families. Our qualified and experienced team offer bereavement counselling, support groups, wellbeing services and opportunities to remember loved ones, designed to facilitate healing and resilience. We recognise that each person’s journey is unique and strive to provide a safe space for families to express their emotions, share their stories, and connect with others who have experienced similar loss. Click here to watch one of our films from our ‘Voices from our bereaved adults’ series on stillbirth bereavement and the support Edward’s Trust offered Kate and Micheal.
SANDS Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Awareness Month serves as a poignant reminder of the pain and loss faced by countless families in the UK and together we can collectively work towards preventing these tragedies, offering support to grieving families, and promoting research that will contribute to better outcomes for future generations. In the West Midlands, Edward’s Trust play a vital role in providing much-needed support, understanding, and hope to those navigating the challenging path of stillbirth and neonatal death bereavement. Let us remember to be compassionate, supportive, and proactive in raising awareness about these profound losses, both during this awareness month and throughout the year.
- Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK. (Data from 2021). Retrieved from https://www.ons.gov.uk/