You can use more than words to break the silence around stillbirth

Artist Adinda van ‘t Klooster is planning to make a series of new artworks on the theme of stillbirth to raise awareness and help lift the taboo around baby loss.

Porcelain uterus

Tommy’s news, 17/01/2017

Artist Adinda van ‘t Klooster is using her creativity and talent in a new project to help lift the taboo surrounding stillbirth.

10 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK and many of these deaths remained unexplained.

For many parents, the pain of this experience is made worse by the silence that surrounds stillbirth and makes them feel anxious to talk about their baby.

Adinda has sadly experienced this first hand;

‘From personal experience I can say that suffering a stillbirth is a heart breaking and lonely experience. There is still a tremendous taboo surrounding stillbirth which can lead to isolation on top of the grief.’

In an attempt to change this, Adinda will make a series of new artworks on the theme of stillbirth using drawing, screenprinting and sculpture.

The exhibition will travel to our Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester in August of this year.

‘Many people don’t know how to react when someone in their circle of friends or family suffers a stillbirth and prefer to pretend it never happened. But for someone to whom it has just happened talking about it is probably one of the few things that has meaning.’

Up to 20 artworks will each be accompanied by a professional poem, which will then be compiled into an artist’s book.

The project has been supported by Dr Alex Heazell, Clinical Director of Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre in Manchester, who says the project will ‘raise the profile of stillbirth’.

Adinda is crowdfunding this project as she has had many funding proposals refused due to the subject matter. One trust told Adinda they wouldn’t fund the project as ‘the subject matter might upset some people.’

This has only spurred Adinda on more with this project to try and help break the silence and stigma around stillbirth.

‘What I am trying to do now is show that there is an audience for this kind of thing. I really hope that with Tommy’s involvement, I will be able to reach those who care most about stillbirth: those people who sadly have suffered it themselves.'

We think that it is wonderful to see more and more people using different mediums to raise awareness of the problem of stillbirth and speak out about their experiences.

The project is being crowdfunded to commission the poems. If you want to lend your support to this wonderful initiative you can do so here.

If you or someone you love has been affected by stillbirth and need support, you can read our information and advice pages here.

Our midwives are also trained in bereavement support and are available 9-5pm, Monday-Friday. It is free to call them on 0800 0147 800, or you can send an email to [email protected].

Read how other people have broken the silence

Read stories of #misCOURAGE

  • #misCOURAGE story


    Lane's Story

    I love hearing stories from inspiring women. From birth stories to infertility struggles to adoption stories, I leave each read feeling inspired and in awe of what women face and overcome. After reading a couple of stories and talking with my husband, I decided to share the story of our son Lane.

  • #misCOURAGE story


    Worst week of my life

    Those dreaded words that I didn't want to hear 'I am sorry but you're having a miscarriage'.

  • #misCOURAGE story


    Sharing Bad News is Horrible

    Sadly the scan showed I had lost the baby, there was no heartbeat.

    Was this information useful?

    Yes No