WORK WE DO

HOW WE HELP

Gaining charity status has enabled us to set out our aims and objectives for the future but more importantly it has allowed us to determine exactly what the money we raise is used for.

 

The Foundation offers many forms of support for Parents, Families and Friends following the loss of a baby to Stillbirth or Neonatal Death.

We provide Memory Boxes to the following hospitals:

 

  • Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham
  • Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield
  • Birmingham Women’s Hospital
  • UHCW (University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire)
  • Warwick Hospital, Warwickshire
  • City Hospital, Birmingham
  • New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton
  • Princess Royal Hospital, Shrewsbury and Telford
  • The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Daisy Hill Hospital, Northern Ireland

 

Our Memory Boxes provide much needed support for bereaved parents. They allow the parents to collect memories and precious items and store them. As a parent you want to protect your child; when you lose a child, you want and need to protect their memory.

 

Though sadly many stillbirths and early deaths are unavoidable, there is evidence that a significant number of stillbirths and perinatal deaths could potentially be prevented.

The care that parents receive around the time of a loss has a huge impact on their perception of what happened and on their ability to cope.

Good care can not remove the pain and devastation that the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby can bring, but insensitivity and lack of good care can and do make things worse.

Health care staff can do a great deal to ensure that the memories that parents take away with them are as positive as possible. However, many staff get little or no training on how to support and care for grieving parents and are likely to feel unprepared for this sensitive and challenging aspect of their work.

The Lily Mae Foundation is working to promote research and improvements in practice which could save babies’ lives. Statistics from the National Charity SANDS report that almost one in every 100 births in the UK results in the stillbirth or death of a baby in the early weeks of life. The Lily Mae Foundation share the belief that this number of deaths is too high and that more can and should be done to reduce these tragic deaths.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE

The Lily Mae Foundation along with National Charity SANDS want to see:

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IMPROVEMENTS IN ANTENATAL CARE, PARTICULARLY IN MONITORING OF BABIES DURING PREGNANCY.

There are many risks for stillbirth in pregnancy which are well known. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, pre-eclampsia are just some of the risks. Mums with known risks are monitored more closely during pregnancy than so-called ‘low-risk’ mums. Generally this works well but not always. Some apparently ‘low-risk’ mums do in fact have high-risk babies. One in two stillbirths still remains unexplained. Why does current monitoring of these apparently perfectly healthy babies not identify them as at-risk? More must be done to improve how they are monitored.
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BETTER RESOURCING OF MATERNITY SERVICES, BETTER TRAINING AND IMPROVED STAFFING LEVELS FOR MIDWIVES AND CONSULTANTS.

It’s well known that poor training and poor staffing levels lead to greater risk for mothers and babies. The new coalition government plans to make £20billion worth of savings in the NHS in the coming years. Despite a pledge that this will not affect front-line services, maternity units are already seeing budget and staffing cuts at a time when birth rates are rising and the pregnancy population is becoming more complex, as more women with existing risks become pregnant.
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IMPROVEMENTS IN NEONATAL CARE, PARTICULARLY IN NURSING RATIOS FOR BABIES IN INTENSIVE CARE.

Adults receive one-to-one nursing care in intensive care but babies are not guaranteed these levels of care. Because of a shortage of neonatal nurses, babies needing specialist care often have to be transferred to other units away from those units where they were born, putting them at greater risk. The government has outlined a strategy for improved neonatal care but there has been no funding pledge to ensure this happens.
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A BETTER REVIEW PROCESS TO LEARN LESSONS FROM PERINATAL DEATHS AND GREATER RESOURCING FOR PERINATAL PATHOLOGISTS.

When a baby is stillborn there is no standardised process for reviewing the death and hospitals review information leading up to the death differently. If there was a standardised and transparent process for reviewing deaths and for collecting data about them, we could potentially learn much more about what is going wrong. We might be able to identify patterns that could highlight particular problems. We would also like to see better resourcing for perinatal pathologists throughout the UK, so that more parents felt confident in the process of post mortem and were supported to make an informed choice about whether to have a post mortem or not.
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MORE RESEARCH INTO THE MEDICAL CONDITIONS CAUSING STILLBIRTHS AND NEONATAL DEATHS.

In the last two years Sands has begun to fund research directly into the causes of baby death. We are also funding a group of clinicians and scientists who will help direct research into stillbirth in particular. While there is some government funding to try to understand pre-term labour, pre-eclampsia and prematurity, we would like to see a greater commitment from the government to fund research into understanding some of the conditions that contribute to a baby’s death (but may not be the direct cause) and those areas where the death appears inexplicable.

Britain ranked 21/35 of World's Wealthy Countries; 2.9 in 1000 Babies born are stillborn

Improving care before, during and after Pregnancy is Important in Reducing Stillbirth