Training & Education

Community-based Care

Community-
based Care

“It was very dark to begin with and I felt like I was in a black hole and would never get out. Slowly, the fog lifted as time went on. With support I realised I could still live and enjoy life with my baby in my heart.”

Bereaved mum

Bereavement Care

Leaving hospital without their baby is devastating for parents and it can take many months or years for parents to learn to live without their baby.

They often feel isolated as friends and family may not know how to support them. Some parents will turn to Health visitors, GPs, counsellors and community midwives that for support and guidance. All parents will meet health professionals in the community when they are emotionally vulnerable, whether it be for routine postnatal appointments or other non-pregnancy reasons years later. Appropriate language and sensitive communication is vital when working bereaved parents as they learn live without their baby.

Mental Health

All bereaved parents will grieve in their own way but for some their grief will be compounded by mental health complications that require intervention.

Bereaved parents are more likely develop mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as 60% don’t receive the help they need, often because health professionals in the community don’t understand the impact of baby loss. Limited knowledge leads to parents being referred to inappropriate services, which has the potential to cause more psychological harm. Understanding how baby loss affects mental health and knowledge of relevant referral pathways is key to ensuring those parents who need it, have access to vital mental health services.

 “I suffered from PTSD as a result of my daughter’s birth. It took me four years to get a diagnosis as everyone said I was grieving and needed counselling. No one fully addressed or listened to how severe my symptoms were.”

Bereaved mum

Training modules for community practitioners

Sands’ training is for GPs, health visitors, community midwives, mental health clinicians, psychological support practitioners and anyone working in the community. We can help with:

  • Understanding the lifelong impact of baby loss
  • Communication skills
  • Appropriate and sensitive language
  • How to support someone who has experienced baby loss
  • Supporting siblings and supporting parents to support other children
  • Signposting to specialist baby loss support channels
  • The National Bereavement Care Pathway