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Baby Loss Awareness Week: Barking and Dagenham councillors call for more to be done to tackle taboo subject

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 October 2018

Barking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit Mahmood

Barking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit Mahmood

Basit Mahmood

A flag was raised outside the Town Hall of Barking and Dagenham Council today to mark the beginning of Baby Loss Awareness Week, amid calls to break the taboo and wall of silence that exists around the issue.

Barking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit MahmoodBarking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit Mahmood

The flag was raised at midday to mark the week which saw speeches from a number of councillors and pledges to do more to help raise awareness around the issue.

The council has a memorial tree in the Town Hall, where members of the public can attach the names of babies they have lost.

Deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, Councillor Saima Ashraf said that during the week the council would be reaching out to the friends and families of those who had suffered from the loss of a baby to show them that they were not alone.

Ms Ashraf said: “This is a taboo subject, when you lose a child it is like losing a piece of you.

Barking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit MahmoodBarking and Dagenham Council is reaching out to families during Baby Loss Week and raised a flag at the Town Hall to mark the occasion. Picture: Basit Mahmood

“My mother lost five children, I remember her being in hospital, when I couldn’t see her.

“I feel there’s a lot of stigma around this issue and different communities are at different stages.”

Councillor Emily Rodwell spoke about the loss of her baby, Logan, whilst she was 20 weeks pregnant, saying it was the most heart breaking thing anyone could imagine.

She said that without the support of her family and friends she would have found her loss even more unbearable and called for more support for men too after the loss of a baby.

Ms Rodwell said: “I think there needs to be more support for men that suffer too after the loss of a child.

She highlighted that people needed to go to the hospital if they thought something was wrong, no matter how small, or even if they associated symptoms with a normal pregnancy, including back pain.

Cabinet member for equalities and diversity, Councillor Lynda Rice said: “In this, our third year of flying the flag and marking Baby Loss Awareness Week, it is important that there is no taboo around this unfortunate issue.”

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