An Angus mother is helping families across the world cope with the “devastating” experience of baby loss.
Arbroath mother-of-four Kayleigh Smith recently started a Facebook page that sends out keepsake bags for free to anyone who has lost a baby, no matter how long ago.
Kayeligh, a volunteer at Ninewells Hosptial’s maternity unit, has sent around 100 packages to families as far away as Australia, Africa and the USA to provide comfort for people in what is often a painful experience of loneliness, helplessness and heartache.
The 27-year-old, a mother to two boys and two girls, said she wants those experiencing such a loss to know they are not alone.
She said: “It’s quite powerful. I feel like crying just talking about it.
“These bags provide a small bit of comfort and show some love and care at such a painful time.
“People are so grateful and they can’t believe that it’s free. It’s something that is done purely out of kindness and love.
“It doesn’t matter if it happened 40 years ago or if it happened yesterday, I think it’s so important to have something which provides some kind of memory.
“It can be tiring as I’m often up until the early hours putting together the packages after orders have flooded in.
“I think about the family though and just tell myself my tiredness is nothing compared to what they are going through.
“With some of the orders, they share their own personal stories, many of which are very painful and raw.”
The page is run using Kayleigh’s own funds and from donations, with help from a team of around 25 knitters who help create gifts.
Other items included in the package include teddies, candles, bracelets and even a poem.
With Baby Loss Awareness Week soon approaching in October, Kayleigh, who also donates items to Ninewells Hospital’s TULIP suite (Tayside Unit for Loss in Pregnancy), wants more people to know that support is available.
She added although some other small charities are involved with baby loss, she feels it isn’t recognised as much as it should be.
“It’s a taboo subject,” she said.
“It’s just not something people like to speak about it. If a baby passes away before a certain age they aren’t even registered or given a birth certificate.
“I think that’s wrong. I want to give people something — whether their baby was registered or not — that recognises that their child existed and give them something for them to remember them by.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week can be a sad a painful time for many parents who do not have their baby at home with them.
“If anyone is struggling, support is available from organisations such as the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (Sands).”
To find out more, or to a request a package, email Kayleigh at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/miscarriageandbabylosskeepsakes/