What is baby loss awareness week?
For the past 20 years during October, Baby Loss Awareness week has been bringing the baby loss community together, providing families touched by pregnancy, baby loss and neonatal death a safe and supportive space to share their experiences and feel that they are not alone.
How do we help support baby loss awareness week?
Our medical negligence team at Tozers support many families who have been affected by the loss of a baby, and we are keen to ensure that they receive the support they need after such a tragedy. The baby loss community is a tight knit group of families who understand the grief and trauma felt, no matter what the reason for the loss.
Bereaved families rely upon the charity sector for support, and to find a safe space, and at Tozers we often signpost our clients who need that additional care.
There are a number of superb charities who are able to provide a variety of different services. Helena Campbell, an Associate within the medical negligence department, and Tamsin Trollope, one of our paralegals in the same team, recently attended the Pregnancy Crisis Care charity ball at Boringdon Park Golf Club.
What charities support baby loss awareness week?
Pregnancy Crisis Care, based in Plymouth, was founded in 2008 as a professional and confidential counselling service available to anyone who had experienced the loss of a baby. These services are provided as a free service at a time of great need, and sessions are available face to face, online and by telephone, as well as through hosting vital support groups for bereaved families.
Like so many charities, Pregnancy Crisis Care are responsible for raising their own funding. Anybody who has worked within the charity sector will be aware of how much energy goes into maintaining fundraising and awareness so that they may continue to provide such essential services, which are not available on the NHS.
Therefore, Helena and Tamsin were delighted when the organisers of annual charity ball announced an astonishing fundraising total of £8,000. Not only is it an exceptional outcome and funding will be invaluable, with 220 attendees, it helped to raise awareness of baby loss and the impact this has on families which is essential.
Pregnancy Crisis Care also work closely with Luna’s Fund, who offer a lifeline to bereaved parents. The aim of the charity is to positively aid the mental and physical health and wellbeing of bereaved parents upon the loss of their baby.
How can you help raise awareness?
During baby loss awareness week, there is an annual Wave of Light, where bereaved families across the country light a candle to remember their lost babies. On Saturday 15th October 2022, the founders of Luna’s Fund will be hosting a Moonlight candlelit walk on the Hoe in Plymouth, where all families are welcome to join in with the memorial event.
Oliver, Sarah and baby Daniel's story
Michelle Beckett acted on behalf of Oliver and Sarah whose baby tragically passed away as a result of a severe brain injury. During Sarah’s labour, there was a catalogue of errors by medical staff which meant that appropriate monitoring of the baby’s wellbeing did not occur.
Firstly, there was inadequate monitoring of his heart rate by cardiotocograph and, secondly there was a failure to appropriately classify the trace when it was recording and finally, when the trace was classified appropriately there was a failure to take appropriate action in response to the warning signs.
These catalogue of errors meant that the labour was allowed to continue far longer than it should whilst Daniel’s condition was deteriorating. When Daniel was eventually delivered, sadly in a very poor condition, the appropriately qualified staff were not present to attend to him as they had not been called.
The birth were extremely traumatic for the parents and although Daniel was resuscitated he was a very poorly baby and needed a lot of care and attention. Sadly he passed away when he was less than a year old. This was an extremely sad case; it was eventually admitted by the Hospital that with appropriate care during labour and birth Daniel would have survived.
Tozers helped the family obtain answers as to what went wrong and Michelle Beckett negotiated a substantial financial settlement with the Hospital. This enabled the parents to secure the professional psychological treatment that they desperately needed, and also to move closer to their extended family, for emotional support. They wanted a fresh start, away from an area which was full of difficult memories.
*The family’s names have been changed to respect their privacy.