*paid collaboration with Tommy’s
It feels incredibly poignant to be writing this blog post just hours after hearing that the baby of someone I know died during childbirth yesterday. It also feels incredibly poignant to be writing this just a few days after a friend messaged me to say her first pregnancy had ended in miscarriage.
I feel heartbroken for both these friends and their partners as they process their grief and devastation.
I, too, know the pain of baby loss as my own first pregnancy ended in miscarriage when we turned up at our 13-week scan to discover our baby had died five weeks previously. This was more than 10 years ago, and although I feel utterly blessed to now have three healthy children, I will never, ever forget the heartbreak and devastation of what we went through. It’s why, as a journalist and blogger, I have written so much about our experience, in the hope of raising awareness of how women and their partners may feel, and to offer them support. My baby may not be with me, but I know he or she has made a difference and I will continue to honour their memory by doing all I can to raise awareness.
The sad fact is that every year, one in four women lose a baby during pregnancy or birth. It’s an unacceptable statistic, which is why I am supporting Tommy’s and Water Babies with this year’s Splashathon, an event for little swimmers and their families, which aims to raise £1 million to fund life-saving research into miscarriage, still birth and premature birth.
Splashathon 2019 will take place in Water Babies swimming classes nationwide throughout the summer. Little ones (and their parents) will take part in a special Peppa Pig themed Pirates and Princesses lesson, including taking on the challenge of swimming a width in fancy dress.
My children are former Water Babies so we know how much fun their Splashathons are. But there’s also an important reason behind the event, as every penny raised will help to save babies’ lives. Splashathons are often the first fundraising event the little ones who attend Water Babies classes will have ever taken part in, and so are extra special, showing that you are never too young to make a difference. Those who fundraise will be rewarded with certificates and other Splashathon-themed goodies, depending on how much they raise.
If you currently attend Water Babies classes, then you can start fundraising for your Splashathon now by heading to the website. Your teacher will give you more information on the event.
If you’re not a current Water Babies member, then that doesn’t mean you can’t still get involved. You can sponsor any children you know taking part, or you can donate to the Splashathon appeal here.
Or perhaps you could even hold your own swimming-related challenge for your little ones to help raise money for this important cause.
If you’re little one loves splashing then you can also take part in Water Babies and Tommy’s swimming style quiz to discover their swimming style. I filled this in for my youngest and discovered he was a penguin!
The money raised will help Tommy’s continue its vital work in investigating causes and finding treatments for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
Tommy’s four research centres have clinics which provide specialised antenatal care for women who are at high risk of having miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. They also provide free, accurate and up-to-date information for medical professionals and parents-to-be around healthy pregnancy, led by midwives and accredited by the NHS England Information Standard.
Are your children taking part in the Tommy’s and Water Babies Splashathon 2019? Do let me know how they get on.