Monday, 21 November 2011
12:06 | Posted by Caz | Edit Post
Too many babies are dying.
In just the last three weeks, on what I will call my 'pink pages' (a private forum with 181 registered users and around 100 or so of them regular posters), three ladies have posted to tell us about babies they know that have died. Two of the babies born sleeping, the other losing their fight in the neo-natal unit.
Three babies in three weeks.
They are not the first babies to have been bought to the 'pink pages' attention. Since I've been a member (and I joined in July 2010 just after Anabelle died) there have been other babies too. As an aside, three ladies, including myself are also bereaved mother's.
In such a small online community how can so many of us have had experience, directly or undirectly, with baby death?
Are babies dying more frequently? or is the silence and taboo starting to break down?
I'll be honest, the news of the third baby really affected me. It put me right back there, those early days of our grief. Being on that scan table being told that my beautiful Anabelle was dead. I've relived her funeral, the rawness, the blinded denial of hope not wanting to believe it could possibly be true. The realisation as soon as she was born the Dr's hadn't got it wrong; we really were going to live forever without her.
This little baby, born sleeping on Saturday morning, has had me choked to tears. For him and his family and for my own. I miss Anabelle so much my entire self aches.
The statistics haven't changed.
17 babies continue to be born sleeping or die neonatally every single day in this country. 17 families every single day are devastated in the truest sense of that word. 119 every week, 6500 every year. 1 in 4 of all deaths are unexplained. Anabelle's death is one of those.
Many more babies don't even become part of the awful statistics because they are born sleeping before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Baby death is a much bigger and widespread issue than most people would care to realise.
In May I wrote about the publication of the Lancet report. I wrote that every single baby's existence counted. (Read Just and The UK verses Finland) Why isn't more being done to bring these awful statistics down? Why do our babies deaths matter so little to the majority? Why does the UK think it is acceptable to be one of the worst for baby death in a rich western nation?
Stillbirth and neonatal death rates have remained unchanged for over a decade. As I said in a previous post; surely in a country where our cot-death rates have been reduced by 70% since the 'Back to Sleep' campaign of the 1980s and beyond, the same could and should be done to reduce our stillbirth and neonatal death rates.
Its high time these babies lives were also a priority.
Remembering Florence, Tess and Noel. Remembering my Anabelle.
- After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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