STILLBIRTH, which claimed the life of Gary Barlow’s fourth child Poppy, is much more common than many people think.
There are around 4,000 cases every year in the UK and one in every 200 births ends in one, NHS figures reveal.
Eleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, making it 10 times more common than cot death.
In almost half of such tragedies, the direct cause of the baby’s death cannot be established.
Forden mother Rachel Emberton, who herself had a stillborn baby 22 months ago, is one of those who has no idea why her baby boy was born stillbirth in November 2010.
Devastated by the loss of Jimmy Morrison, who she carried for eight-and-a-half months, Rachel found support in the shape of a stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
“Although life will never be ‘normal’ again, I am eternally grateful to the support I received from the Powys Sands Support Group,” said Rachel.
“It was a huge comfort being able to speak with other parents who had been through the same terrible experience as myself.”
The Powys branch of Sands is a support group open to anyone affected by the death of a baby. Meetings are held in Welshpool and Builth Wells and support is provided free of charge and is open to all bereaved parents, their families and friends, no matter how long ago the loss occurred.
Rachel initially started attending the group in Builth Wells, but “wanted to give something back” so she started a new group in Welshpool last year.
“I have been given no reason as to why I lost my baby, which is difficult, but by attending the support group it helped me feel as normal as I possibly could,” said Rachel.
“The group is not only for women, dads can also attend and even grandmothers – I know my mum has found it helpful meeting other grandmothers who have lost a grandchild.”
Powys Sands meets at Welshpool Town Hall on the last Thursday of every month at 7pm and at The Riverside Community Centre in Builth Wells on the first Friday of every month at 7pm.
Rachel’s heartbreaking story comes in the same week that Take That star Gary Barlow and his wife Dawn announced their fourth child was delivered stillborn.
Fans touched by the tragic stillbirth have launched a fundraising drive for Sands
They are aiming to raise £100,000 in donations for Sands to fund research and support those affected by the death of a baby. Anyone wanting to donate to Sands can do so by visiting justgiving.com/RIPPoppyBarlow
For more about Powys Sands visit the website at www.powyssands.org or ring 07717 371236.