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Pioneering support for families affected by baby loss – a blog by Luen Thompson, CEO

This week (9 -15 October) is Baby Loss Awareness Week, a national opportunity for bereaved families to commemorate babies’ lives. It is also a chance for organisations like Forget Me Not to raise awareness about baby loss, the impact it can have

on families and how the right support at the right time can improve outcomes for those families in both the immediate and long term.

Very sadly, around 150 babies in West Yorkshire are stillborn or die shortly after birth every year. Research from MBRRACE-UK in 2019 showed that West Yorkshire has significantly higher rates of stillbirths and neonatal deaths than the national average

– Kirklees stands at 19% higher than the national average for stillbirths, with Bradford at 13.5% higher.

The personal, social, and emotional consequences of perinatal deaths and stillbirth are profound and can have a long-lasting impact on bereaved families. However, support for families facing or living with the loss of their baby is patchy. A quarter of

parents say they were not offered help with funeral arrangements, and some were not given information about counselling services. The Ockenden report calls for better bereavement services for women and families who’ve experienced a loss in pregnancy.

Our pioneering and highly specialist service was developed seven years ago in response to this need. Available to families whose baby has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition during pregnancy or who has died before, during or after birth, we provide:

  • Midwifery support in collaboration with the teams at the local trusts during pregnancy and birth – attending antenatal appointments, helping with birth plans and enabling families to make informed choices
  • Peer to peer support – access to a range of groups including our walking group, rainbow bumps and rainbow baby groups and bereaved mums’ group
  • Bereavement support, counselling and therapy including EMDR and CBT
  • Family support, including support for siblings, emotional support and support for families from South Asian and Eastern European communities, where English may not be their first language.
By doing so, we help families feel less isolated and better able to cope, not just through the immediate trauma, but throughout the rest of their lives, helping families learn to live with their loss and in some cases, navigate the challenges of another


Families like Arrianne’s. In this moving video, Arrianne shares her story of baby loss and how she and her family were supported by Forget Me Not.

“We had the chance to spend precious time with Aziah, to read to him, to show him off to our family. It was all we wanted to do, but without Forget Me Not, we wouldn’t have had that time. We can’t thank them enough.”

To date we have supported over 450 families. That’s why, this Baby Loss Awareness Week, we’re launching an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise £300,000 in just 48 hours.

If you would like more information about our service or our campaign, please do get in touch at or you can donate here.

Best wishes,