This week marks Baby Loss Awareness Week. Throughout the week, which takes place from 9 to 15 October, bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth and in infancy.

Miscarriage, still birth or the death of a baby are not rare events, and thousands of people in the UK are affected every year. 

Baby Loss Awareness Week is also a collaboration between charities and organisations working together for change and tangible improvements in policy, research, bereavement care and support available for anyone affected by the death of a baby at any stage.

Many people will not be aware of the role that children’s hospices play in giving families requiring palliative care choice when faced with the unthinkable.

Haven House works in partnership with the Neonatal Units within Central and North East London in identifying babies with palliative care needs as well as educating them on the variety of services the hospice provides for these families.

Neonatal Lead Nurse Kathryn Chandler-Board said: “Supporting families whose babies are in neonatal intensive care is a growing area of work for Haven House. Since 2018 the hospice has supported over 30 families who have sadly lost their baby, either in the neonatal period or stillborn, or have learnt that their baby will have a life limiting condition.

“Once a referral is made to Haven House, I meet with the family as soon as possible and invite them for a hospice visit, empowering them to have more choice around their baby’s care and to feel in control. The types of support we offer is step-down care to home, which allows the parents to learn the skills they require in order to care for their baby with complex needs, in a less clinical environment like a home from home, with the support of nursing staff if they need.”

There is ongoing support once a family are home with respite care, hospice at home and music therapy. The hospice also provides end of life care in the Butterfly Suite.

Kathryn added: “Our goal is to give families choice. We know the hospice won’t be everybody’s choice, but that’s fine. I want to make sure they have all the information to make the right choice for their baby, family and circumstances.”

Read more about how we can provide support to you and your family here.