I've been very blessed to have 3 pregnancy's which have produced 3 healthy children but I have seen the strain on friends who have had their hopes shattered by their loss. Its a devastating time for everyone, especially the parents but also for their family and close friends who are excited by the joy of a new little someone coming into the world.
So now when I'm taking a break from CPD I make a beanie, cardigan and booties for the programme. Below is an extract from the TBP website which describes what they do.
The Treasured Babies Programme aims to support newly bereaved families by having gestation-appropriate Gifts for Treasured Babies given immediately to the newly-bereaved families.These Gifts would typically contain handmade, correctly sized clothing (eg.Nappy, nightgown, matinee jacket, hat, bootees, blanket) and literature such as a naming certificate, booklets about perinatal death, and support pamphlets to help families.
Dressing their deceased baby helps parents to “normalise” the experience. Parents are more inclined to spend time with their baby when he or she is dressed—the clothes give them silent permission to be a mum or dad and to cry. Spending quality time with their baby helps parents to come to terms with their grief in the months to come and gives them some precious memories to hold onto. This helps parents (and their other children) to grieve and eventually put their lives back together. Simple actions like dressing, bathing and taking photos of their baby are very important to the grieving process. Any photos taken become precious because there will not be any more opportunities in the future. Having tangible memories helps parents to remember, to grieve and to be able to share the experience of their newborn with their support network.The literature included in the Treasured Baby Gift answers many of the immediate questions that parents have with regard to their newly born child. It also lets them know of the various support organisations available within the community they can access, particularly once they leave the care of their hospital.
The Naming Certificates are a very important way of acknowledging babies who die under 20 weeks gestation because these babies are legally recognised as a ‘miscarriage’ and do not receive a Birth Certificate. Neither hospitals nor parents are charged for these services, so the Programme is fully funded by donations and sponsorship.