Sands launches bereavement support app

By Hollie Ewers on 21 September 2018 Stillbirth Neonatal Death Bereavement Care Sands

Stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands has launched an innovative new app to support bereaved parents, families and professionals in the UK.

The app provides users with information and resources accessible via smartphones and tablet devices.

Healthcare professionals, employers and anyone who would like to know how best to support bereaved parents can also use it.

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

Links are also provided to the Sands website with details of local support groups across the UK, ways to share stories, Sands bereavement care resources for professionals, as well as information on Sands’ work in research and prevention.

The app idea was inspired by Nicole Regan-White, a bereaved mother, whose baby Jessica was stillborn after 42 weeks’ gestation in 2013.

Nicole said: ‘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 that 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 losing Jessica, Nicole 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.’  

Sands director of volunteering and bereavement support Jen Coates said: ‘We’d like to say an enormous thank you to Nicole for her idea of creating an app, which is such a positive way of connecting bereaved parents and their families with the information they need at such a devastating time in their lives.

‘We received many pieces of positive feedback when we tested the app with volunteers at our bereavement support groups earlier this year which was encouraging and we will continue to develop this resource.

‘I also hope the app will be a useful resource for healthcare professionals, and that they will signpost parents who need help and advice to the app in future.’

The is available to download for free via the App store on any Apple device or the Google Play app store on Android.