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Treasured Babies

SIDS and Kids Victoria Treasured Babies Programme (TBP) began with a view to supporting bereaved parents while they are still in hospital with their baby/babies. So often when babies die through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death,parents are unable to spend a great deal of time with their baby.The time that they have with their baby is very limited and can often lead to life long regrets and grief.

Treasured Babies teddyAt present, the type of support for parents who experience the death of their baby varies a great deal across the hospitals in Victoria. The Treasured Babies Programme seeks to make sure that all parents receive the best possible grief support by working together with hospitals in two ways: Firstly, by informally sharing current hospital bereavement support activities, hospital staff can make informed choices as to their own hospital’s bereavement practices. Secondly, the Programme provides a range of support materials to participating maternity hospitals so that the materials are on hand when a baby dies.

The Treasured Babies Programme aims to support newly bereaved families by having gestation-appropriate Gifts for Treasured Babies given immediately to the newly-bereaved amilies.These Gifts would typically contain handmade, correctly sized clothing (eg.Nappy, nightgown, matinee jacket, hat, bootees, blanket) and literature such as a naming certificate, booklets about perinatal death, and support pamphlets to help families.

Treasured Babies Program BootsDressing their deceased baby helps parents to “normalise” the experience. Parents are more inclined to spend time with their baby when he or she is dressed—the clothes give them silent permission to be a mum or dad and to cry. Spending quality time with their baby helps parents to come to terms with their grief in the months to come and gives them some precious memories to hold onto.This helps parents (and their other children) to grieve and eventually put their lives back together. Simple actions like dressing, bathing and taking photos of their baby are very important to the grieving process. Any photos taken become precious because there will not be any more opportunities in the future. Having tangible memories helps parents to remember, to grieve and to be able to share the experience of their newborn with their support network.The literature included in the Treasured Baby Gift answers many of the immediate questions that parents have with regard to their newly born child. It also lets them know of the various support organisations available within the community they can access, particularly once they leave the care of their hospital.

altThe Naming Certificates are a very important way of acknowledging babies who die under 20 weeks gestation because these babies are legally recognised as a ‘miscarriage’ and do not receive a Birth Certificate. Neither hospitals nor parents are charged for these services, so the Programme is fully funded by donations and sponsorship.The TBP Committee of Management coordinates many volunteers across Victoria who hand-make the tiny clothes and pack the items into Treasured Baby Gifts. All materials are kindly donated by businesses and individuals.

All donations towards this program are sincerely appreciated.

For more information on the program, how you can get involved or if you wish to donate product please contact SIDS and Kids Victoria on 03 9822 9611.

Would you like to volunteer by hand making these beautiful Treasured Baby Gifts?

We'd love to hear from you. Please phone us on 9822 9611 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it