Sands News

New book provides a resource for parents facing an unexpected diagnosis in pregnancy.

A new book launched last week will provide information to parents and help assure them that they are not alone in their experience when they face an unexpected diagnosis in pregnancy. Wellington woman, Vicki Culling, has compiled a book of stories from parents and contributions from health professionals called Holding On & Letting Go: Facing an Unexpected Diagnosis in Pregnancy. The book contains six contributions from health and caring professionals, seven stories from parents who continued their pregnancy after an unexpected diagnosis and seven stories from parents who induced/terminated the pregnancy. The book concludes with a section providing links to websites, book titles and support information.

Vicki was inspired to create this book after supporting many parents who had received an adverse diagnosis; some who continued the pregnancy and some who induced their pregnancy. Through her work with Sands, a voluntary organisation that supports families whose babies die, Vicki was aware of a dearth of New Zealand resources for parents who were told during their pregnancy that their baby had an unexpected condition.

Vicki says, “After years of photocopying chapters of books from the UK and the US to give to parents, I am so pleased we now have a New Zealand resource that I hope will assist parents in some small way as they make their way through one of the hardest and most heart-breaking parenting experiences”.
Five hundred free copies of the book have been distributed to DHBs throughout the country, thanks to funding from Istar, a non-profit pharmaceutical company. The book can be purchased at $20 a copy by emailing

A Tribute to Tabitha Rose - Stories of Baby and Infant loss in NZ

This beautiful book holds 24 stories of pregnancy, baby and infant loss; stories that many bereaved parents, families and whanau will identify with.

You can purchase a copy of the book through Sands Wellington-Hutt Valley at $20 per copy (plus $5 postage). Email
This is a lovely gift to give someone you know who has experienced the loss of a precious baby or child.

This book has been made possible through the efforts of Bryon Berry and his Dedication Year for his daughter Tabitha-Rose.


Beyond Words - grieving when your child has died

By Andrew Thompson (Starship Hospital and Auckland University) and Tricia Irving Hendry (Skylight)

This handbook, published in New Zealand,is relevant to bereaved parents around the world. The book brings together the best mix of understanding, insight and support information possible with the comments insights, stories and letters of many bereaved parents. These are
combined with warm colours and fantastic photography. The book offers honesty and frankness - which so many bereaved parents say they want – while also offering encouragement, comfort, grief management ideas, support options and hope. Supporting bereaved parents well is also one way of supporting other children or teens they may have,
because they will be hurting and grieving too.

Available from Skylight


Baby Loss Books in Schools

Sands Coromandel Coordinator Leonie Kirwan has started a project 'Baby Loss Books in Schools' with the goal of having a copy of the book What's Happened to Baby in every primary school in New Zealand.

The book is a beautifully written and illustrated book aimed at 3-7 year olds who have experienced the loss of a sibling, cousin or a baby that is close to them. It is produced by skylight (

Parents and families can pay $15 to have a book donated to a school in the memory of their baby or in their family's name.

If you would like to have a book (or books) donated, please contact Leonie

New Zealand book on baby loss recently released

Liz Tamblyn, Coordinator of Sands Bay Of Plenty, has written and illustrated a beautiful book for children on stillbirth and the loss of a sibling - entitled Baby Sam.

The book was co-written with her son Jack, who was four at the time of her son's death.

Liz wrote the book because there were very few such books at the time Sam died, especially books that were written from a sibling's perspective.

To buy Baby Sam, please email Liz.