One of our counsellors, Becky, has brought our attention to this awareness week. It's something we are delighted to share awareness of because it affects so many people across the world.
What is Baby Loss Awareness Week?
Between 9th and 15th October, a wide range of organisations want to raise awareness of the impact Baby Loss can have on people's lives. Find #BLAW2021 and follow on social media.
This year's theme is wellbeing
Sat 9 October – An introduction to the week and the theme of wellbeing
Sun 10 October – Looking after yourself
Mon 11 October – Looking after those who provide care and support and those on the frontline
Tue 12 October – Looking after siblings (children and adults)
Wed 13 October – Looking after partners
Thu 14 October – Looking after each other as a community (including the workplace)
Fri 15 October – A focus on remembrance and the Wave of Light
How many people are affected?
It's really difficult to know how many women have experienced a miscarriage. We know that estimates vary between 1 in 4 and 1 in 8. What ever the number that is a large amount of people every year.
It's common that people who experience the loss of their pregnancy didn't realise how many people were affected. Because it's not something we talk about generally as a society people sometimes open up when you explain what has happened to you.
What can I do?
The Miscarriage Association has some fantastic advice on their website for people who have a friend, family member or colleague who has been affected by baby loss. Tommy's is another great source of information.
Whatever you feel, don't shy away from speaking about it. As you can see from Becky's video, she is so happy to talk about her little girl, Emma. If you don't know what to say, simply say that. The parents will then know you are thinking about them and that you understand they are experiencing a bereavement.
Don't forget the dads
Don't forget the dad's too - often, because the mum has gone through the experience people forget that dad will have feelings too.
The Miscarriage Association have developed a range of Covid compliant virtual hugs to send when you just want to let someone know you are thinking about them.
What shouldn't I do?
As part of human nature, we want to make people feel better. We try to put a positive spin on what's happened and it genuinely does come from a good place. But sometimes the words we use can have a really negative impact on the people experiencing the loss.
On the Miscarriage Association website a parent has commented "please don't start a sentence with "at least"".
By saying things like "at least you are young and can have more babies" or "at least you know you can get pregnant" you are minimising the effect that the loss has had on the parents. Other things people say which are unhelpful are things like "it's probably for the best" or "it wasn't meant to be".
If you get flustered by seeing people upset, or you struggle to know what to say in difficult situations, one of the best things to say is "I'm sorry for the loss of your baby. How are you today?"
Telling your story
Our counsellor Becky experienced the loss of baby Emma a number of years ago. In order to let people know the impact this has had on her and her family, she has bravely recorded a video to share so that people can understand what happened for her.
She's recorded two versions - one which has baby photos and memorabilia and the other is a bit less hard hitting.
We're not saying you need to watch either, but if you want to hear someone talking about their experience then please click the link of the one you want to watch.
How can i get help?
If you have been affected by the loss of a baby, or know someone who has, there is a wide range of support available.
NECS can provide counselling for couples or individuals.
Other organisations which have a wide range of information and resources are: