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What we do to support parents who endure baby loss under 24 weeks.

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Dressed with Dignity for us is the whole package regardless of the gestation, age your baby or child heart stopped beating. It includes the care from the minute parents find out their baby has sadly passed, or when their baby has been delivered, or they are likely to be born sleeping, and in other cases where a decision needs to be made to end the pregnancy. At Handmade with Love & Making Memories we believe every gown, burial box, special keepsake should be unique to that baby, or child, what we create our precious items for families. We personalise our special boxes, and enclose gowns that have been made to measure for the little one. These are chosen beforehand and couriered over within 48 hours to the hospital, or funeral homes.

Acknowledgement is and always will be our first advice - validating their babies existence under 24 weeks is so important for parents, by mirror imaging the parents when terminology is used. Such as baby is, instead medical words I would rather not share. As for me they still pierce my heart when I hear them used for a precious baby under 24 weeks. So, we designed, printed, and deliver monthly 'Certificate of Life' at NHS The Royal Oldham Hospital. These are completed in a private room with parents, when their baby loss has been confirmed. It is important that they leave the hospital with a record of their baby, and not just medical papers. Over the years we have completed thousands for parents worldwide, now we allow our parents to download free of charge and print and complete in the comfort of their homes.

The new bill offers parents who never had any form of recognition of the loss of a baby under 24 weeks to be able to apply for a certificate. Further details can be found in the review (See Zoe Clark-Coates) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Saying Goodbye webpage. The independent review has took her 8 hard year's of campaigning, reaching out to others to share and listen not only within the media, but parents, real life journeys, to ensure change, to share on behalf of every family, woman who has been affected through the loss of a baby under 24 weeks. Collecting such data and recording this within the independent review with recommended changes. We see you, and now we hear you! Along, with leading Charity 'Tommy's' and celebrities who have endured such loss and pain, you have finally given us all a voice, and our precious baby's too. From the bottom of my heart, and all the team 'Thank you'. We understand the importance and have for over 4 years been supporting parents who are in need of support, guidance, assistance with saying goodbye to their babies, and signposting for support when PTSD, trauma, or feelings of despair hit home.

Only 10 years ago, we have been talking of the taboo surrounding stillbirth, so today when reading the review and findings, losing a baby under 24 weeks will be acknowledged this weekend it is so special. It truly is a momentous moment for those who have walked this path, or find themselves here in the future. As well as a huge moment of pride for those who have taken part and helped achieve this.

It has given me HOPE this afternoon reading over the report, review in more detail. How this is such a moment in history for so many of us. Our babies do matter and it says so!! How so many have been judged, felt unheard, struggled with PTSD and mental health because no one saw them, no-one heard them. Yet, they have been heard, they have noticed, and by thousands signing and sharing the campaign they are able to implement 20 changes with immediate effect.

Together, the heartache shared, as we know we share every October asking for a special day to honour their existence, to educate about the pain a parent goes through, how siblings are affected when a baby has no forever bed.

Personally to me....

Dressed with Dignity to me, and why we do what we do is about more than offering a burial gown. It is about supporting choices when a baby has passed away, those of the parents, it is about showing nothing is too much trouble, Having empathy, and the correct calming tone. We can make this journey, and have done so for over 4 years more bearable and dignified. But, we need those in the healthcare profession to be trained in handling a tiny baby, and how to present a baby back to parents. We have found working with hospitals, many of the team feel uneasy, scared, and have journeys to tell of their experiences. We provide training free of charge within the NHS, and have been delivering this since July, 2022 at The Royal Oldham NHS Hospital.

When putting together a burial box we know as bereaved parents how much it means for it to be personal for a family. So, our letters are handwritten from one parent to another. This has proved to be a vital way in sharing the love within the baby loss community, as well as supporting newly bereaved parents, it allows those who walk the path to share their little one's legacies. We ensure our boxes have special messages for those who are to care for the baby, too such as a funeral director, or bereavement healthcare professional. We ask that if baby is being cremated the ashes are to be returned (if requested by the parents) and they are done so in their special personalised box, along with a personalised remembrance candle which we provided for the service. We thank the midwife, or bereavement nurse who has supported the parents, asking them if they require anything else to email us. Inside is a card from another bereaved parent, this is addressed to the family to let them know they are not alone. The feelings, and numbness, anger and pain are real. And when they are ready to share, and so many do they know we are here for them.

We also do a follow up, which is where we check in with parents, as we also understand that after the goodbye service it can be a lonely world. We promote our 4-week online support workshops. Gone but not forgotten, where bereaved parents will be with other parents in a peer group. This will enable them to share with each other, have their voice heard, and allow them to validate what is happening to them privately. After parents have said goodbye we are on hand for a two week period with the parent who has supported them, as we understand then the door closes how lonely baby an child loss is. Our team are all Bereavement Counselling Level 3 trained, and are all Baby or Child Loss Parents, Grandparent's.

Sometimes it is the family member that we work with, sometimes the midwife, but all our special boxes have personalised keepsakes, to enable parents to make special memories before saying goodbye. Helping to create a bit of comfort and love through their own choices, and allowing them to do this without any financial burden. there is support out there. Many have shared what, and who supported them on their journey too. We can offer parents a choice of what they would offering choices, and be openminded in their choices. Not what is written in a policy, we want health professionals to be comfortable, trained, and help us prepare our baby for a funeral, and we witnessed this being done during the Covid 19. From there it truly depends on choice, if baby or child is to be dressed, of there is a theme, colour, something that can give their hearts a hug when they look back at this day. We are able to offer knitted, or our bespoke handmade with love burial gowns, and outfits, as well as forever pillows. These all come from donated wedding gowns, and ball room dresses.

I have to say it is an honour for all of us to be involved with parents who choose our burial packs. As admin we build trust, and for many of us friendships that continue to grow after gaining their trust, while preparing their baby on their final journey with them. Asking the parents to think of something positive during their pregnancy, is where we start from, with the hope to build a special making memories box unique to them and their little one's. We are able to offer a 121 services to parents, 7 days a week through our social media platforms, Zoom calls, Email, and WhatsApp Message service, should parents wish to do so. We understand this will be their final journey and how important it is to include parents, and families which is why we have a team of volunteer crafters, trained admin, seamstresses, young ambassadors, who work together as a family and team.

Why - It is simple to us, our motto is

"We SHARE because we CARE"

For some of us on this path, we never got to say goodbye, heartbreaking journeys shared over the last 10 years have enabled us to come together as a team. It has allowed us to share, and we become closer during Covid. Many of our elder ladies had no other contact with the outside world, but we get each other entertained and working on so many projects. Enough to fill our guest room and office. We as volunteer's , bereaved parents have learnt that no two journey's are the same, be open-minded, there is no such thing is can't we can look at what we can do to help you, or signpost you where you will find that information. From looking for a song, to contacting an undertaker in your local area.

You can sponsor a box today, or pay it forward to another family through are secure on-line payment. It costs £15.00 to sponsor a personalised burial box for a family, these are shipped out throughout the UK, or can be sent to a hospital of your choice. To, request a burial box please contact us through our webpage or drop us an email to and our team will send you a link to request. Please note these boxes

will only be sent to undertakers, or NHS hospitals. Each box sponsored has a special card inside saying who it is in memory of, or it was sponsored by. £15.00 allows a family a personalised burial service of their choice, including gown, memory box, MP4 Video download with graphics, special keepsakes, and if required order of service if needed. A minimum choice of 2 outfit's is offered to all parents, along with a special personalised candle for their final journey.

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