Researchers often contact us to ask if we can help them find parents to take part in their studies. Usually, they want to hear about parents’ experiences of stillbirth or neonatal death and/or the care they receive (before and/or after the birth). We advertise opportunities to become involved in research on our Facebook page.

Research studies and criteria setting

Sands supports a wide range of research studies looking at why babies die and the bereavement care parents receive, hearing from parents and families with many different experiences.

Sometimes a particular study will ask that people who take part meet specific requirements relating to themselves or their experience, such as when or how their baby died.

We understand that this could disappoint parents who would like to take part in a project and have their experiences heard, but do not fit the criteria. Research studies are limited by resources and time, and researchers have to make choices when they design their studies.

This means that they are often unable to include every baby, bereavement or circumstance and have to select a specific group to focus on for detailed analysis. By inviting certain groups of parents to take part, they are in no way suggesting that other experiences are of less interest or value.

Please do continue to keep an eye on posts on our Facebook page sharing details of research studies that need parent involvement. It’s fantastic that many bereaved parents want to support research, and we know that research teams rely on and hugely appreciate parents’ interest and participation.

Research we support will increase our understanding of the issues around baby death, and help us create a world where fewer babies die, and that when a baby does die, anyone affected by the death receives the best care and support when they need it, for as long as they need it.