As a baby loss mother, I don't need a week to remember my son. I remember him every single day. But baby loss awareness week gives me a chance to get others to remember him and to share his memory.
While other mums are proudly posting first day of school, first swim, first tooth pictures, a baby loss mum has very few opportunities to share her baby. I do a Facebook post for my son on his birthday and Christmas but that's it. Baby Loss Awareness Week gives me another excuse to share his memory. As a society we need to speak more about baby loss and break the taboo that surrounds it. We need to stop parents who have lost a baby feeling alone and isolated. Baby loss awareness week is the perfect opportunity to open the dialogue and do just that.
And of course one of the most powerful things about baby loss awareness week is the opportunity to prevent more parents experiencing the pain of losing a baby. Since the last baby loss awareness week 6,500 additional sets of parents have lost their precious baby to stillbirth or neo-natal death. Its unthinkable how many more have been lost to miscarriage. The number of people joining the baby loss community grows year on year and we need to take every opportunity to take action and prevent future losses.
Charities such as mine, Kicks Count, have a week to take centre stage and shout our message. Having so much focus on baby loss highlights how important these messages are. So many people sharing stories of their angel babies breaks the taboo and alerts people that these tragedies do happen and they happen to real people.
While sadly not all stillbirths or baby losses can be prevented, there are many that can with some awareness. For example a baby changing its movements in the womb can be a warning sign that the baby is in distress. When women are aware of this they can report any change in their baby's movements and hopefully find potential problems before its too late. You only need to have a look at the Kicks Count facebook page to see how many babies have been saved by this increased awareness.
The week ends with a wave of light on the 15th where everyone lights a candle at 7pm in memory of their angel. Parents are encouraged to post a picture of their candle on social media to create a wave of light. This is such a powerful tribute to all the babies taken too soon and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part.
While I will light my candle on the 15th and speak about my son, this week is like any other for me. One in which I will remember and miss my son with all my heart.