Online greeting card operator, Thortful has sensitively introduced a collection of Mother’s Day cards to cater for the love of mothers whose babies and children have died.
For the majority of the nation, Mother’s Day is a joyful event, when children show their love to their mums through the sending of a card. However, despite the wide choice of Mother’s Day cards available, through a plea from one mother, Thortful was alerted to the need for designs that could be sent to mothers who have suffered a miscarriage, whose babies were stillborn or have died in childhood.
The range of cards, which honour and recognise this forgotten group of mothers, was born out of a social media conversation with Hannah Pontillo, a mother who lost her first baby Dexy at birth. Hannah has written the words for the new Thortful collection of cards, which were then turned into designs by Thortful creators Rachel Storey, Project Pretty, Joanne Hawker and Lisa Greener.
The collection came about when Hannah contacted Thortful last Father’s Day because she couldn’t find a card suitable to give to her husband Phil. “Every card I looked at mentioned in one way or another something about growing up, tying shoelaces, playing and looking after your child. It is extremely hard when you have never done any of that with your own son,” explains Hannah who then messaged Thortful during a night where she had just had enough. “I wanted us to be included in these celebrations of being parents, but we couldn’t. Parents like us are not celebrated outside our community. It isn’t just me that feels this. I have spoken to a lot of parents who also find these celebrations hard, not because their child isn’t here but because there is nothing for us.”
Highlighting how the greeting card industry could play its part in helping to give a voice to this “unspoken” group of parents. “I am a mum. Like all mums, I went through pregnancy. I got an aching back and swollen feet. I gave birth. I have a son – you just can’t see him. I know that it is hard for people because the whole topic of baby loss is still taboo, but 11 babies will be stillborn or die shortly after birth every day. Some 1 in 4 people will experience baby loss through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or child death. It happens more than people think, and it is about time we celebrated these mums and dads just like we do with parents that have living children. It is time we broke the silence.”
Hannah said she feels honoured to have helped design a range of cards for bereaved mothers like herself. “Knowing that they will help mums feel included, recognised and special means a lot to me. I’m also so proud of Dexy, if it wasn’t for him, I would never have been given the chance to make a difference.”
For each Thortful card sold from this collection, 100% of the profits will be donated to Kicks Count, a charity created after the founder, Sophia Wyatt gave birth to her precious daughter Chloe, stillborn. Chloe died just three days before her due date.
Elizabeth Hutton, ceo of Kicks Count said the charity was delighted to be collaborating with Thortful on the Mother’s Day card project. “We are especially grateful to Hannah for raising this issue as it is something that our supporters talk about frequently. People are often embarrassed to bring up the subject of a child that has been lost to stillbirth or miscarriage, but to the mother, it was still a child that they carried and a life to be celebrated.”
The A5 Thortful cards are priced at £3.29 plus P&P and can be purchased from www.thortful.com or via the Thortful app.
Kicks Count is campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of baby movement during pregnancy to help prevent tragedies of this sort from happening in the first place. The UK has the third highest rate for stillbirth and neo natal deaths in Europe. “We continue to push the Government to help us bring this figure down and eventually eliminate preventable stillbirths altogether,” Elizabeth added.
Top: Thortful’s Mother’s Day selection this year also caters for mothers who have lost a child.