Jane Laking, Specialist Bereavement Midwife, blog
Jane Laking, Specialist Bereavement Midwife | 8 June 2017

During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series.

My name is Jane and I’m a specialist bereavement midwife at The Whittington Hospital in North London. I’ve been in my role for the past 14 years and I have worked with Sands ever since, welcoming bereavement care training initiatives and supporting Sands’ calls for improvements in maternity to save babies lives across the UK.

I studied midwifery at Leeds and moved to the Whittington in 2001, where I was a community midwife. When the role of new bereavement specialist came up it was a bereaved mother herself who convinced me to apply for the job. So many people feel uncomfortable talking about bereavement. You can’t make it better, but you can make it a little better.

About 80% of my job is bereavement support. We sadly have about 14 to 18 stillbirths a year at the hospital and my casework lists 60-80 families at any one time.

I think Sands is an amazing charity and it does a hugely valuable job, and we always recommend contacting the charity’s support groups to bereaved families. Sometimes people don’t realise that parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and close friends are all affected when a precious baby dies.

Because of Sands efforts, the resources available in hospitals are getting better and better and it’s good to know that families are getting the information they need.

Reducing the number of 15 babies dying every day in the UK is possible, and I know that Sands is doing everything they can to improve both bereavement and maternity care.

Help us to reduce baby death

15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.

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