Every day in the United Kingdom 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth. On average that’s about one every 96 minutes.
It’s a truly appalling figure. It means every hour and a half a family experiences one of the worst tragedies imaginable, the death of their baby. In time each of these families hopefully readjusts and finds their new ‘normal’, learning to live with the loss of their baby, their brother, sister, grandchild. But from this point forwards they will be forever changed, and for ever missing the little life they so lovingly and longingly looked forward to and planned for.
Consider for a moment, that in the time it takes for you to watch a film, travel to work, go to the gym or watch a football match, a family has been left shattered by the loss of their baby. Fifteen different families, all sharing the most unimaginable grief, every single day. Awful isn’t it?
My own daughter, Rebecca was stillborn at full-term on 4 June 2002. This month, we should and would have been celebrating her 15th birthday. Quite poignant seeing as we are currently running an initiative to raise awareness of the fact that 15 babies is far too many, and that more needs to be done to reduce the baby death rate in the UK. I am one of the 15.
To highlight just how often a baby dies before, during or soon after birth in the UK, we will tweet every 96 minutes without stopping from Thursday 8th June to Thursday 15th.
By doing this we want to show the awful frequency of stillbirth and neonatal death in this country, and raise awareness of the fact that #15babiesaday is too many. Other countries with similar levels of healthcare are reducing the baby death rate much faster than we are. We need that to change, awareness raising is the first step to bringing about that change.
We need your help. You can help raise awareness by retweeting our #15babiesaday and #90minutechallenge tweets. Could you sign up to do a #90minutechallenge yourself? Or could you donate to help save babies’ lives? We rely completely on the support of people like you, together we can reduce the baby death rate in the UK.