A Little Lifetime Foundation (formerly Isands) is a voluntary organisation, founded in 1983 by a group of bereaved parents whose babies died before or at birth (stillbirth) or some time after birth (neonatal death).
What We Do
When a baby dies you can show you care by doing the following:
- Offer a hug, a tear, a sign of love and concern.
- Use the baby's name.
- Listen even when the story is being told over and over again.
- Let parents express feelings like guilt and anger.
- Send a card/flowers or a gift - mementos are important. A Little Lifetime Foundation have appropriate cards and booklets to send at this time. If you click on A Little Lifetime Foundation Memories Collection you can view cards/booklets.
- Allow children to share in the grief.
- Remember fathers grieve too and sometimes it is more difficult for them to express their feelings. Ask how they are feeling.
- Treat the death of a baby with the same respect and importance as the death of any close relative.
- Remember to acknowledge the grandparents' grief.
Although it is not always easy to know what to do or say, here are a couple of things you should avoid:
- Don't use platitudes or preach "You've an angel in heaven" or "You're young, you'll have another". Although well-meaning they are not helpful and can be very hurtful.
- Don't take over and do all the organising, especially regarding any decision about the baby. This is the only chance parents have to do something for their baby.
- If there are other children, don’t say that ‘God has taken the baby’ as children may fear that God will take them or their parents.
The Stillbirth Registration Act became effective in January 1995. The Act applies only in relation to a child born weighing 500 grams (1 Ib.60zs) or more - or having a gestational age of 24 weeks or more - who shows no sign of life at birth. Babies stillborn since January 1995 are now required to be registered.
As the Act is retrospective, babies born anytime before that date (weighing 500 grams or more, or 24 weeks gestation or more) may also be registered (on provision of relevant information). For more information on how to register a baby who died before January 1995, you can contact the ISANDS general phone number for details.
Recent available statistics have shown that, on average, over 500 babies die in Ireland annually. This means that, at or around the time of birth, more than one baby dies for every day of the year. Awareness of the needs of bereaved families at this time can ease the pain of their grief. A Little Lifetime Foundation continues with its efforts to increase awareness among the medical, nursing and clerical professions and the general public. Be aware that parents will need time to come to terms with their grief. The death of a baby is one of the most painful experiences that any parent can have. Remember that they have lost part of their future when their son or daughter died. Your understanding and warmth are valuable and will help them cope with their grief.
A Little Lifetime Foundation are always in need of funds!! The general running costs for all charities has increased enormously. The charity is run by volunteers but we need funds to continue the services we provide and develop new ways to provide information and offer support. Our literature is a life line for families and we need to ensure the publication and distribution of - A Little Lifetime and our twice yearly Newsletters.
We also want to continue to provide Facilitators (who are volunteers but need to be trained and supervised) and venues for our Parent Support Meetings and offer support on the phone. We also hope to continue to develop links with Health care Professionals and interested others and provide updated publications like our A Little Lifetime Foundation Guidelines Professionals.
You can help by
Making a donation, buying Christmas cards and Memory Collection cards, participating in sporting events like – the mini marathon or organised events (sponsorship cards available from A Little Lifetime Foundation all year round). Some families also organise small fundraising events in their own area in memory of their baby. If you have any ideas for a fund raising event please let us know.
How to Contact A Little Lifetime Foundation
A Little Lifetime Foundation, Carmichael House, 4 Nth Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
Telephone 00353 1 8726996
Other Informational Leaflets Available:
- What Family & Friends Can Do
- For Parents Whose Babies Died Long Ago
- A Service/Blessing for your Baby’s Funeral/Anniversary
- Returning To Work Following The Death of Your Baby
- Precious Time-Precious Picture- creating special photographs of your baby.
- Children grieve too- leaflet for children
- Teachers- a leaflet to give to sibling’s teacher
- Grief in the Workplace- Death of a Baby