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.