Baby loss is an incredibly devastating experience for parents and can leave them feeling isolated and uncertain about their rights. In response to this, a group of campaigners have called for the introduction of official certificates to help grieving parents remember and honour the lives of their children that were lost too soon.
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The campaign, set up in 2018 by the charity Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) UK, calls for a certificate to be issued when any pregnancy ends before 24 weeks or when a baby dies shortly after birth. This would recognise that these losses are valid pregnancies without prejudice or judgement.
The proposed certificate would also offer key information about what happened during the pregnancy or birth and provide details on any medical investigations and their outcomes. This would help to reduce the uncertainty that parents may feel and deliver a document to remember the child by, which can be essential in the grieving process.
As well as helping parents grieve, campaigners suggest certificates of baby loss could trigger bereavement leave or time off work for those affected. Currently, many employers do not understand how hard it is for someone to go back to work after a loss like this, so they don’t always provide appropriate support.
The campaign has already gained the support of many charities, MPs and organisations such as The Royal College of Midwives. Hopefully, with continued pressure from these groups, official certificates of baby loss will soon become part of the law.
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