The main political parties have now launched their election manifestos, and it's good to see the need to improve maternity services and maternal safety being acknowledged.

During the General Election, Sands is calling on all parliamentary candidates to to commit to a future where fewer babies die, and all bereaved parents get the care they deserve. 

It's simply not acceptable that 13 babies die every day in the UK. By working with future MPs to transform maternity services, we can reduce this number.

Everyone can help keep baby loss on the agenda during this General Election - take action today to make lasting change.

We’ve set out our priorities for the next government in a document from Sands and Tommy's and our Joint Policy Unit.

It calls for five key actions to accelerate progress, including a clear commitment to eliminate inequalities in pregnancy and baby loss. No baby should have an increased risk of dying because of their race or ethnicity. 

“It is positive that the main parties’ manifestos recognise the need to improve maternity services.

“However, as outlined in our priorities document, we’re calling for stronger commitments that will ensure safe, equitable care for all  

“The next government must invest enough to support the transformative change that’s needed to improve maternity and neonatal care throughout the UK and save more babies’ lives.”

- Robert Wilson, Head of the Sands and Tommy’s Joint Policy Unit

And through our #EndInequalityInBabyLoss campaign a group of bereaved parents - Vaishali, Bhavna, Vijay, Amber and Darren - will be writing to the next government asking for urgent action on inequality in baby loss.  

This general election, you can join the campaign by adding your signature to their letter.

What did the manifestos promise?

The Liberal Democrats were the first to publish and their manifesto including commitments to eliminating racial disparities in maternal health and transforming perinatal mental health support for those who are pregnant, new mothers and those who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth.

The Conservatives manifesto came out next and committed to additional funding for maternity safety and support for research into disparities in maternity care and to improving access to mental health services for new mums. 

The Labour manifesto was the last of the three main parties to be published and contained a focus on improving the safety of maternity services and a commitment to tackle inequalities in rates of maternal mortality, while also stating that ‘Childbirth should not be something women fear or look back on with trauma.’ 

All these pledges are welcome, but we'd like the next government to go further. We'd like to see them commit to renewing and enhancing the national ambitions to reduce the rates of stillbirth, neonatal death and preterm birth in England, including a clear commitment to eliminating inequalities in baby loss.

It is also crucial that mental health support is available for all forms of pregnancy loss and baby death and includes fathers and partners. Far too many bereaved parents tell us that they can't access the specialist psychological support they need. 

We know that women who’ve experienced pregnancy loss or the death of a baby and their partners are at higher risk of developing conditions such as PTSD, anxiety and depression.

The next government must ensure mental health support is available for both parents experiencing pregnancy loss and baby death.

So, overall some positive commitments from all three main political parties. 

"The next government must commit to bold action to save more babies' lives and eliminate inequalities in pregnancy and baby loss. 

"They must allocate funding to ensure services can provide the best possible support and care for all parents following the death of a baby."

-Jess Reeves, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Sands.

You, our supporters, play a huge role in helping us make lasting change. You can read below about all the ways you can take part – the first step we recommend is to sign up to our campaigns newsletter so that you can stay informed on our activities. 

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