New figures show 1,718 babies were stillborn and 707 died within the first 28 days of birth in Australia last year.
Miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death charity, Sands Australia’s CEO, Andre Carvalho said, “Every day in Australia, 7 families are faced with the devastating and heartbreaking tragedy of their baby dying during or shortly after birth”.
Sands is committed to ensuring that all bereaved parents across Australia have access to support and information following the death of a baby. They are calling on the continued support of long term funders in federal government, corporate sponsors, donors, fundraisers and the community at large to make this happen.
The death of a baby is a major bereavement and its impacts are long standing.
“Preparing for the arrival of a baby is usually a happy and exciting time, however when a baby dies, this joy comes to a shocking and usually unexpected end. Parents are left feeling desperate, alone and without hope.” Says Carvalho.
“Over the last decade, Sands has made great strides in supporting and giving hope to bereaved parents through innovative peer to peer services. We have launched a 24/7 Helpline, created strong support groups across the country, launched a livechat support service, distributed key resources and delivered thousands of information sessions to midwives and healthcare professionals. But we cannot rest on our laurels, we need to ensure that no bereaved parent is left suffering in isolation.
Like the many bereaved parents that access support from Sands, Jenny Altstock, knows too well the pain and isolation that follows the death of a baby.
“I left the hospital with the empty arms and an empty heart. The loneliness and isolation was nothing I’d ever known. I felt the loneliest when I was not alone. For weeks the house was always busy and buzzing with people all just trying to help me, but no one around me seemed to have any idea of what I was going through, until I called Sands. I don’t know how I would have coped without the support from the incredible volunteers at Sands.”
Sands is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and information to parents and families who experience the death of a baby, as well as offering resources and education to healthcare professionals. Sands Volunteer Parent Supporters offer a real sense of understanding and hope; they too have been through the devastating loss of a baby.