Last year we supported a very special project called ‘Finding A Rainbow’ with the charity Kicks Count.
Our Finding a rainbow project, offers support to those who are pregnant with their ‘Rainbow baby’ following a previous loss. We understand that it’s an incredibly anxious time and hope to help comfort families by providing them with bundles containing information and tools they can use to ease their worry. These bundles are distributed through bereavement midwives in the UK.
We have caught up with Elizabeth from the charity to see how the project has progressed and how it’s making a difference.
Why was the Finding a Rainbow project needed?
Every year 6500 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth. The UK ranks 33rd out of 35 high income countries, making it the 3rd highest stillbirth rate in the developed world. In 2015, the latest given statistics, around 9 babies were stillborn every day. In the same year, around 6 babies were lost to neonatal death every day. Around a third of stillbirths happen after 37 weeks when the baby is deemed full term and Stillbirth is sadly 10 times more common than cot death. There is a common misconception that stillbirths only happen in high risk pregnancies or when there is a known problem, however,
stillbirth can affect any mum at any time.
Around half of women experiencing a stillbirth perceived a reduction in fetal movement prior to diagnosis.
While there isn’t one cause of stillbirth, a decrease in fetal movement can be a key warning sign that a baby is in distress and early delivery could save nearly a third of stillborn babies. The Confidential inquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy found that lack of prompt management to reduced fetal movement was a contributing factor to stillbirth.
A ‘Kicks Count’ campaign in Norway saw the rates of stillbirth halved and in the UK a similar awareness campaign in the 1980’s around
cot death saw rates of sudden infant deaths fall by a massive 70%.
At Kicks Count we aim to raise awareness of babies’ movements to reduce stillbirth, while also acknowledging the babies that have been lost. We are keen to break the taboo around stillbirth which we feel will in turn help reduce stillbirth further.
If parents that have lost a baby go on to have another baby, the pregnancy is fraught with additional emotions and fears. We wanted to
create a project that would help parents going through a pregnancy after loss and in turn reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths further.
Why did you apply for Frugi’s Little clothes BIG change funding?
As a small charity we struggle to get large scale funding. We liked the idea of receiving funding for a specific project that allowed us to
implement something we have wanted to do for a while but have never had the resources.
As our funding is so limited this would allow us to do something out of the ordinary that we feel would have further ramifications.
We have also followed Frugi for a while because of the rainbow clothes that you do and we know parents having a rainbow pregnancy
LOVE all things rainbow… we thought it was the perfect partnership!
How successful has the project been so far?
So far we have over 320 bereavement midwives registered from 69 hospitals throughout the UK. The project has been more successful than we hoped! We expected the interest from the “rainbow baby” community to be high but we have also had such an amazing response from the peripheral
communities (people who want to donate a rainbow bundle in memory of a lost baby for example)
Overall what has the project accomplished?
The project has helped rainbow parents feel there is an organisation out there that understands their feelings and can provide support.
It has also highlighted to us how much this support is needed.
When the project began we thought it may be a nice sideline to our core aim but as the project has gone on and feedback has been
received we have realised we need to move rainbow pregnancies more to the forefront of what we do.
Rainbow parents are very passionate about baby loss and they are amazing ambassadors for raising awareness of Kicks Count. By embracing them into Kicks
Count we have raised awareness exponentially. Overall we want to ensure more parents don’t experience the loss of a baby and the project has opened so many doors for that.
What has the feedback on the project been like?
We have received so much great feedback on the project, here’s a recent comment from a mum who has benefited from it-
“Speaking as a mother who has had both the parent and sibling pack, I cannot express how wonderful these are and what a difference they make. Not just for the contents but what also really helps is you feel like there’s people out there who “get it” and who want to understand and help. Rainbow pregnancies are wonderful but also come with awfully high anxiety rates. Any beautiful thing like this helps. Thank you Kicks Count xxx”- Samantha
Will the project continue? If so, how will the project evolve in the future?
We would never have been able to start this project without Frugi, It was always a pipe dream of ours. Frugi’s contribution was 35% of the charity’s ANNUAL overall income so was MASSIVE and enabled us to do things we just couldn’t have done alone. The book has had amazing feedback, especially from medical professionals such as Dr Jane and Dr Keith Duncan, fetal medicine specialist at Chelsea and Westminster. We have massively increased our profile among the rainbow community and many of those midwives have now ordered our kicks count banners for their maternity waiting rooms.
The project will definitely continue. We have already started to look at ways to extend the rainbow project (for example our “previous stillbirth/neonatal death stickers” have been redesigned to incorporate a rainbow element )
The rainbow project is definitely here to stay!!
Thanks Elizabeth 🙂 x
You can find out more about the Finding a Rainbow project and how bereavement midwives can sign up to register here