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Support after the death of a baby

02 January 2023
Volume 31 · Issue 1


The UK charity Sands provides support for those who have experienced a baby's death. Marc Harder and Clare Worgan discuss the National Bereavement Care Pathway, which aims to advise healthcare professionals on providing bereavement care

Each year around 4000 families in the UK are devastated by the stillbirth or neonatal death of their baby (Sands, 2022a). With many more a˚ ected by losses earlier in a pregnancy, the impact of baby loss is greater than many realise.

Parents who receive poor bereavement care after their baby has died have their grief exacerbated, but good care can and does help them on their painful journey. That is why the UK charity Sands has its core aims to save babies' lives and to provide the best possible care and support after the death of a baby.

For many years, Sands has supported healthcare professionals through the provision of training (Sands, 2021), publication of bereavement care manuals and tools and more recently, the development of the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP, 2022a).

The NBCP promotes nine core standards of bereavement care, applicable to all experiences of loss, including miscarriage (including molar and ectopic pregnancy), termination of fetal anomaly, stillbirth, neonatal death and sudden unexpected death in infancy.

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