Overcoming grief for lost babies

FOR Katrina and Adam Stanaway it was their first and last opportunity to dress their baby daughter, Ava.

According to the doctors at the hospital, Ava was not a baby when she was born because she was born so early she was not legally a baby.

Ava died at birth when Mrs Stanaway was only 18 weeks and four days along in her pregnancy.

“The hospital wanted to dispose of my daughter,” said Mrs Stanaway from Mackay yesterday.

But for the couple, for whom Ava would have been their first child, she was a baby and they grieved for her as a baby.

Ava was born so premature and so tiny that they had no suitable size clothing or wrapping for her.

“Just for once we would have liked to wrap our daughter in something that made her feel like a baby,” she said.

But it’s hard to find suitable clothes for babies as small and as fragile as Ava was.

Mrs Stanaway is a member of Bonnie Babes Foundation, a support group for women who had lost pregnancies and babies or those who suffer from infertility issues.

Volunteer for Bonnie Babes, Sue Townsend, who had suffered a loss of her own baby, believes that if mothers are able to dress their child in babies’ clothes that fit them or even wrap them in something of suitable size and hold them like other mothers hold their children, it would help them in an intense grieving process.

“I have recently received a donation of some tiny sleeping bags to lay these babies in, and will be giving them to the hospital this week, along with some different size blankets, booties and bonnets still to come,” Mrs Townsend said.

She said there was a need to raise awareness of the public that the death of a child at any time of the pregnancy was a heavy loss deeply felt by the parents.

“Having the baby wrapped and beautifully presented is just one of many things that we can do to help families who have to go through the grief of losing their child,” she said.

Mrs Townsend said the phone number for free counselling for Bonnie Babes story is 1300 266 643.

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