What is it about?

Chris Binnie, bereaved father and trustee of Beyond Bea Charity, takes a look at the wall of silence that exists around baby loss, and the work of Beyond Bea in educating professionals, raising awareness, and improving care in this oft-overlooked area of care.

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Why is it important?

Nelson Mandela said that education was the most powerful tool that we have to change the world. There is a huge stigma surrounding baby loss, and many health professionals simply aren't being equipped to provide optimal care to this hugely vulnerable group. Beyond Bea Charity exists to provide high-quality, affordable education to maternity and associated health professionals and students in this most challenging aspect of their work. Our study days are RCM accredited and focus on a combination of clinical elements (delivered by a Registered Midwife with a special interest in bereavement), human factors (delivered by bereaved mothers and fathers), and interactive hands-on memory-making workshops.


Before my son, Henry, died on 30th April, 2014, I had not the first idea about stillbirth. After he was born, on 2nd May, 2014, I still had no clue about the scale of the issue of pregnancy loss. I didn't know about this huge community of parents bearing the heaviest load any parent can carry. When I started to find out, it shocked me to my core. I was no less shocked by the data about the number of term stillbirths that are preventable - like Henry's. As I moved through my journey of grief, it became increasingly apparent to me that the training and education on bereavement care for maternity staff was sorely lacking. It became a real passion of mine to improve this. All bereaved parents know that nothing we do can bring our children back, but all we ever want is for our baby to be the last. Improving education gives us a better chance of avoiding preventable stillbirths in the first place, and also of ensuring that bereavement care following the greatest parental tragedy imaginable is of the highest possible standard. We cannot expect professionals or students to provide high quality care if we aren't giving them the tools or experience they need to do so. They do the best they can, but when they know better, they can do better. So we have to help them know better - and that's where our work at Beyond Bea comes in.

Chris Binnie
Beyond Bea Charity

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Breaking the silence, British Journal of Midwifery, March 2020, Mark Allen Group,
DOI: 10.12968/bjom.2020.28.3.144.
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