It’s time to break the stigma surrounding baby and pregnancy loss, says Kelly

Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alliance Councillor Michelle Kelly, has called for an end to the stigma surrounding baby and pregnancy loss, as well as more awareness of the support and resources available to those affected.

Belfast City Council Michelle Kelly baby loss awareness week


The announcement comes at the closing of Baby Loss Awareness Week, running from 9th-15th October, a special annual event remembering babies lost during pregnancy or soon after birth and raising awareness of baby and pregnancy loss.

In honour of Baby Loss Awareness Week, in conjunction with local baby loss charity Aching Arms, Councillor Kelly organised for Belfast City Hall to have a Remembrance Tree installed, where parents and families who have suffered baby and pregnancy loss can have their baby’s name placed.

Talking about her initiative, Councillor Kelly, who has spoken about her own personal experiences with miscarriage and baby loss, has said “There can still be a lot of stigma around baby loss and speaking about it openly in our society, and grieving parents can often find it very difficult to say their lost baby's name aloud, especially to others. With this Remembrance Tree we want to give parents the opportunity to break that stigma and remember their little angels.

“This is something absolutely no parent on Earth should have to endure, and there needs to be more public awareness of the support and resources that are available for all those going through it. This includes Sands, The Miscarriage Association, Aching Arms, and Cradle for example, among others offering counselling services and other resources. More information about where to go can be found on the Baby Loss Awareness Week website.

“On Saturday 15th, Belfast City Hall will also be hosting a Wave of Light ceremony, where parents can bring and light a candle in memory of their babies, listen to poems of reflection, hear the names from the Remembrance Tree read out, and we will see City Hall lit up in pink and blue. We would ask that if you would like to hear your baby’s name read out, even if you have placed it on the tree, that you also email it to us at [email protected] before 5pm on Friday at the latest.

“We’re stronger when we stand together, and anyone who may find comfort from the event is invited and more than welcome to attend.”