The Legacy of Leo - life following stillbirth and miscarriage.
Every day in the UK around 15 babies sadly die before, during or shortly after birth, often due to preventable causes. This tragic statistic means that on average every 90 minutes a family is devastated by the shocking news that their baby has died. Despite these appalling statistics, there is often a lack of resources available in maternity wards and there are gaps in training for health professionals to provide support to grieving parents.
Fortunately, there are support groups available dedicated to raising awareness of baby loss, stillbirth, miscarriage and pregnancy after baby loss. One such support group is The Legacy of Leo, which was formed by the mothers of Leo Phoenix, who was born sleeping on 17 January 2016. After Leo’s tragic passing they resolved to honour his memory by fundraising, campaigning for increased awareness, and supporting organisations that help those affected.
Jess, one of Leo’s mothers, also started a blog to help her try to explore and understand her thoughts and feelings about Leo. This blog found kindred spirits whose lives had also been touched by baby loss, and together they formed a support group. Jess says she hopes ‘this blog not only helps us as a form of therapy but can shed a small bit of light on someone else’s dark – or just help to raise awareness of grief, bereavement and stillbirth’.
The Legacy of Leo provides another vital source of support by hosting the Baby Loss Hour on Twitter every Tuesday at 8pm. Anyone affected by baby loss can join the conversation by following and posting under the hashtag #babylosshour. There is a different topic of discussion each week, and often guest hosts from connected charities and support groups.
The Legacy of Leo’s website contains several emotional messages from parents describing how the Baby Loss Hour has been an invaluable source of support. For example:
“To me it means support, comfort and understanding. A safe place to ask and share whatever you need to, to people who get it. You can be completely open and honest without being judged. I only hope many more people can find this chat, to be given the level of support & compassion that only comes from the loss community” – Sarah, Noah’s mum
Sam Mills of our Medical Negligence team recently witnessed the power of the Baby Loss Hour to provide support to bereaved parents when he participated in a discussion on how to creatively explore grief. He was touched by how the community provided a welcoming, safe space for people to candidly share their feelings, and by how it was clearly very helpful to those involved. Through these personal and moving stories he was able to understand how useful creativity would be to express feelings which cannot be articulated normally. We join the Baby Loss Hour each week, witnessing the overwhelming support provided to families affected by baby loss.
The Legacy of Leo will be supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week, which takes place between 9th and 15th October. Baby Loss Awareness Week features a partnership of over 60 charities across the UK, with the aim to raise awareness of the key issues surrounding baby loss. During this week, the Baby Loss Hour will take place every day at 8pm, and features guest hosts each day including Will Quince MP, who will be discussing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss.
You can find out more about the incredible support provided by The Legacy of Leo and access their blog by visiting https://thelegacyofleo.com/ or follow them on Twitter @TheLegacyofLeo. You can also find out more information on the Baby Loss Awareness Week on the website: https://babyloss-awareness.org/.
The impact on families following the loss of a baby is devastating and Wolferstans are supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week. If you or any members of your family been affected by baby loss or any injury at birth, and you would like to receive free independent legal advice, without any obligation, please contact: CNCoordinators@wolferstans.com