NEW A Little Lifetime Foundation Teddy
Each year in Ireland approximately 500 babies die around the time of birth. As a result a large number of parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and friends are bereaved.
Up to 15 years ago, parents who experienced the death of a baby were given no recognition or acknowledgment. Parents coped with unbelievable pain and sadness and only now, years later have the courage to come forward for support.
In recent years there has been a much better realisation of the tragedy it is when a baby dies and the loss that it is for parents, brothers and sisters. Thankfully, there is also a better understanding of this loss by the Medical Profession and in general, parents and families are encouraged to be part of and create precious memories in their baby’s short life.
A Little Lifetime Foundation (formerly Isands) produce and distribute a booklet called A Little Lifetime to all maternity hospitals and units in the country. This booklet has helpful and important information to help and support parents at the time they are told the sad news that their baby has died or is expected to die shortly after birth. If you are a parent reading this who has just been told that your baby is expected to die, then if you have not received a copy of A Little Lifetime, please make sure to ask for one from the Health Care Staff or make contact with A Little Lifetime Foundation and we will make sure you get a copy as soon as possible.
This website offers support and information not only for families facing or coping with this tragedy but also for anyone who comes in contact with these families. It offers some insight into the experience. It gives helpful information that will make a difference to how parents will cope at the time of their baby’s death and offers support for the weeks, months and years that follow.
Hopefully, it will give those accessing information, support and help them to understand that the death of a baby is a huge tragedy and needs to be acknowledged. The feelings and emotions that grief will bring are difficult, intense, sad, scary and can be isolating.
A Little Lifetime Foundation’s aim is to provide information, services and support based on other bereaved parents’ and families’ experiences which can be different but there is a common link that is recognised – the loss of a son or daughter, brother or sister. We hope that this website will also provide information and support to all those working in the Health Care Services and other Services in the community.
Who We Are
A Little Lifetime Foundation (formerly Isands) is a voluntary organisation, founded in 1983 by a group of bereaved parents whose babies died before or at birth (stillbirth) or some time after birth (neonatal death).
What We Do
- Publish and distribute our booklet “A Little Lifetime”.
- Support bereaved parents and families whose baby has died or is expected to die.
- Arrange regular Parents’ Support Meetings.
- Publish our Newsletter twice yearly with information, views and experiences of bereaved parents and families.
- Produce Information Leaflets.
- Produce A Little Lifetime Foundation Memories Collection.
- Organise Public Meetings.
- Organise Inter-denominational Services of Remembrance.
- Make representation to groups of professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and other interested groups of the needs of bereaved parents and families.
- Provide training for Support Team Volunteers.
- Heighten awareness about perinatal death (the death of a baby around the time of birth).
Whom We Help
- Families who know their baby has died prior to delivery or is likely to live only a short time after delivery.
- Families recently bereaved through Stillbirth and Neonatal Death.
- Families whose baby died a number of years ago but, due to social attitudes, were not permitted to grieve.
- Families considering another pregnancy following the death of their baby.
When a baby dies you can show you care by doing the following:
- Offer a hug, a tear, a sign of love and concern.
- Use the baby’s name.
- Listen even when the story is being told over and over again.
- Let parents express feelings like guilt and anger.
- Send a card/flowers or a gift – mementos are important. A Little Lifetime Foundation have appropriate cards and booklets to send at this time. If you click on A Little Lifetime Foundation Memories Collection you can view cards/booklets.
- Allow children to share in the grief.
- Remember fathers grieve too and sometimes it is more difficult for them to express their feelings. Ask how they are feeling.
- Treat the death of a baby with the same respect and importance as the death of any close relative.
- Remember to acknowledge the grandparents’ grief.
Although it is not always easy to know what to do or say, here are a couple of things you should avoid:
- Don’t use platitudes or preach “You’ve an angel in heaven” or “You’re young, you’ll have another”. Although well-meaning they are not helpful and can be very hurtful.
- Don’t take over and do all the organising, especially regarding any decision about the baby. This is the only chance parents have to do something for their baby.
- If there are other children, don’t say that ‘God has taken the baby’ as children may fear that God will take them or their parents.
The Stillbirth Registration Act became effective in January 1995. The Act applies only in relation to a child born weighing 500 grams (1 Ib.60zs) or more – or having a gestational age of 24 weeks or more – who shows no sign of life at birth. Babies stillborn since January 1995 are now required to be registered.
As the Act is retrospective, babies born anytime before that date (weighing 500 grams or more, or 24 weeks gestation or more) may also be registered (on provision of relevant information). For more information on how to register a baby who died before January 1995, you can contact the ISANDS general phone number for details.
Recent available statistics have shown that, on average, over 500 babies die in Ireland annually. This means that, at or around the time of birth, more than one baby dies for every day of the year. Awareness of the needs of bereaved families at this time can ease the pain of their grief. A Little Lifetime Foundation continues with its efforts to increase awareness among the medical, nursing and clerical professions and the general public. Be aware that parents will need time to come to terms with their grief. The death of a baby is one of the most painful experiences that any parent can have. Remember that they have lost part of their future when their son or daughter died. Your understanding and warmth are valuable and will help them cope with their grief.
A Little Lifetime Foundation are always in need of funds!! The general running costs for all charities has increased enormously. The charity is run by volunteers but we need funds to continue the services we provide and develop new ways to provide information and offer support. Our literature is a life line for families and we need to ensure the publication and distribution of – A Little Lifetime and our twice yearly Newsletters.
We also want to continue to provide Facilitators (who are volunteers but need to be trained and supervised) and venues for our Parent Support Meetings and offer support on the phone. We also hope to continue to develop links with Health care Professionals and interested others and provide updated publications like our A Little Lifetime Foundation Guidelines for Professionals.
You can help by
Making a donation, buying Christmas cards and Memory Collection cards, participating in sporting events like – the mini marathon or organised events (sponsorship cards available from A Little Lifetime Foundation all year round). Some families also organise small fundraising events in their own area in memory of their baby. If you have any ideas for a fund raising event please let us know.
How to Contact A Little Lifetime Foundation
A Little Lifetime Foundation
18 Orion Business Campus,
Rosemount Business Park,
Telephone Number: 01 8829030
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Informational Leaflets Available: