Féileacáin (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland – SANDAI) was formed in 2009 and subsequently registered as a charity in 2010 ( CHY – 19635). Feileacain was formed by a group of bereaved parents to offer support to anyone affected by the death of a baby around the time of birth, and the organisation is now the national charity supporting families affected by perinatal loss. Feileacain is a volunteer led organisation and receives no funding from central government, relying instead on the support of our community and the families who avail of our services.
Our aims are:
To provide each Maternity Unit and Children’s Hospital in the country with our ‘Gifts of Remembrance’ Services. These services are provided free of charge to the hospitals and their delivery is supported by a nationwide team of Feileacain volunteers.
Included in the Gifts of Remembrance Service are:
‘Remembering…’Memory Boxes, which are provided to parents who lose their baby around the time of birth. The Memory Boxes offer information and support as well as artifacts that support parents in creating precious memories in the short time they have with their baby.
Imprints so Precious: clay imprints of their child’s feet or hands are offered to parents to create a lasting and precious memento of their baby. The imprints are created by a Feileacain volunteer who will come to the hospital, make the imprints with the parents and return the framed prints once they are painted and glazed.
Remembrance Candles: while funds allow Feileacain offers each bereaved family a hand decorated candle with their babies name inscribed.
Cuddle Cots: Each maternity unit and children’s hospital has up to 6 Cuddle Cots which supports parents to keep their baby with them while in hospital, and to wake their baby when they return home if this is their wish. If a Cuddle Cot is not available to the parents from the hospital then a Feileacain volunteer will provide a Community Cuddle Cot for the family.
Sibling Support: The impact of the loss of their little brother or sister on older siblings is immense, and they are often forgotten about during the trauma of infant loss. Feileacain offers advice and telephone support as well as a Play Therapy service to children following the death of a sibling. Each hospital is also provided with Sibling Teddy Bears and Resource Packs offer comfort to them at this time
Cocooned Project: Many babies who are born too soon are too little for the garments provided by the hospitals. Feileacain offers beautiful hand knit gowns, dresses and suits for parents of tiny little infants. These garments are lovingly made by our team of volunteer knitters, who also supply beautiful little cradles and cocoons in which little babies may be laid.
Little Pix: Along with Little Pix (bereaved parents who manage this project, Feileacain have provided each hospital with at least two high resolution digital cameras
- To offer a befriending service and support helpline to anyone affected by the death of a baby
- To host regular support meetings which allow bereaved parents space and time to remember their baby.
- To offer support and provide a safe and confidential setting, in which those bereaved through stillbirth or neonatal death can share their experiences.
- To promote research into the causes of stillbirth and neonatal death and the effects of grief on the family.
- To work in co-operation with support services and other support organisations.
- To hold Remembrance Services where parents and families may honour their babies in the company of others who have also lost their child