Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Innovative app launched to support bereaved parents, families and professionals in the UK

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, has launched a bereavement support app, which it believes is the first of its kind, to enable bereaved parents and professionals to have information and resources at their fingertips.

The mobile app is aimed at bereaved parents, their family and friends, partners and grandparents, so they can access information at their convenience on their smartphone. It can also be used by healthcare professionals, employers and anyone who would like to know how best to support bereaved parents.

The app includes information and support resources about making difficult decisions, saying goodbye to your baby, returning to work, sexual relationships after the death of a baby, thinking about possible future pregnancy, supporting other children, organising a funeral for a baby and post-mortems.

The app contains links to the Sands website with details of local support groups across the UK, ways to share your story, Sands bereavement care resources for professionals as well as details of its work in research and prevention.

The idea to create an app was inspired by Nicole Regan-White, a bereaved mother whose baby Jessica was stillborn after 42 weeks' gestation on 24 December 2013.

Nicole says: "When Jessica died I was devastated and the midwife at the hospital didn't know what to say to me. At the time I was given 13 booklets, one of which was 67 pages long. I could barely read five words, let alone read and digest such a long publication. When I did read it I discovered some of the content was not relevant to us, or it was too late for us to use, and was just too much to take in.

"Shortly after we lost Jessica I contacted Sands to let them know that searching for information was difficult and overwhelming for bereaved parents at the time of a baby's death. In a digital age we discussed my idea of creating an app that can be downloaded in seconds that provides all the information a bereaved parent and their family would need anytime, anywhere."

The app ensures that everyone affected by the death of a baby has all of the information they need at their fingertips, when they are given the devastating news that their baby has died. It was made available to Sands' support groups and volunteers at a special preview during Sands Awareness Month in June in order to gain valuable feedback.

To download the app, visit the App store on any Apple device or visit the Google Play app store on Android.