Sands is an organisation which can offer you support when your baby dies during pregnancy or after birth.
The death of a baby is a devastating experience. The effects of grief can be overwhelming and parents, their families and friends can be left feeling dazed, disorientated, isolated and exhausted.
It can be hard to take in information, to make decisions or to imagine how you are going to cope.
At Sands there are people who understand what it's like because many of us have been through this experience ourselves, and we are here to help offer support and information when you need it.
Support for all
The death of a baby can happen to any one of us. What brings us together in Sands is the common experience of this painful loss.
Your baby may have been stillborn or died during or soon after birth. He or she might have spent some time in a special care baby unit. It may be that your baby died at an earlier gestation or that you had to make the difficult decision to end your pregnancy. We offer support whenever a baby dies.
As well as supporting mothers and fathers, we are also able to help other members of your family, especially grandparents and other children. Many people may be touched by your baby's death, including friends and health professionals, and all are welcome to contact us for support and information.
You may not want anything from us right away. We are here to help whenever you feel you need it. That may be now or in a few weeks months or even years.
Our core aims:
Sands is a national charity, established by bereaved parents in 1981.
We have 3 core aims which are to:
- Support anyone affected by the death of a baby;
- To work in partnership with health professionals to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families; and
- To promote research and changes in practice that could help to reduce the loss of babies' lives
You can choose to phone either the Helpline or the Office
To help you decide which number to ring, please read these short descriptions:
Sands National Helpline: 020 7436 5881
The Helpline is for anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby and wants to talk to someone about their experience.
Most of the people who call the Helpline are parents whose baby has died. Their loss may have been very recent, or may have happened many years ago.
We also welcome calls from:
- Relatives: grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles or friends
- Health care professionals: GPs, health visitors, hospital staff, mental Health workers
- Other professionals involved with bereaved people: clergy, funeral directors
- Employers who have a bereaved parent returning to work.
The Helpline team are there to listen and give support. They can advise you about finding local help, whether from a Sands group or other counselling services, and have information about other relevant support organisations.
The Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 17:30 and Tuesday and Thursday from 18:00 to 22:00.We are also open on Bank Holidays from 10:00 to 15:00
You can email the Helpline directly at helpline(at)uk-sands.org
Sands Head Office: 020 7436 7940
The office admin line is there for a broad range of enquiries relating to stillbirth and neonatal deaths.
We regularly help with information about :
- Contacting a Sands local support group, or other appropriate sources of support,
- Sands publications and resources for bereaved parents and families, including leaflets, books, information sheets, a CD and Sands own newsletter, "Footprints".
- Sands publications and resources aimed at those caring for bereaved parents
- Becoming a member of Sands; donating or helping Sands through volunteering
- Befriending or running a Sands group; we always welcome contact from group members
- Press enquiries.
We will always do our best to help with any enquiry.