THE devastating loss of their first babies inspired Angie Dawson and Zoe Lent to come together to create a support network for bereaved mums.
Ms Dawson gave birth to son Roman at 23 weeks.
“Roman was six days old when he died,” she said.
“We loved him, we cherished him, we told him stories, I sang to him, I fed him, I changed his nappy.”
After multiple complications, Ms Dawson and husband Mitch made the difficult decision to remove his life support.
That same year, Ms Lent attended a routine antenatal appointment to be told there was no heartbeat.
She gave birth to daughter Avery the next day, born sleeping at 36 weeks; she said she and partner Adam could not have been more proud nor more devastated.
The mothers came together in May 2016 to create Little Doves, a friendship and support group for bereaved mums.
“It’s a safe place for them to find strength and support through shared experiences and find a way to live fully, all the while remembering and celebrating their own little dove,” Ms Lent said.
In addition to monthly meet-ups around Perth, Ms Dawson and Ms Lent, now both busy with baby boys, have started to create memory boxes for parents experiencing the loss of their baby.
The Women and Infants Research Foundation has received more than 40 memory boxes from Little Doves, which have been distributed at King Edward Memorial Hospital, and more than 100 have been donated across WA in total.
Items in the boxes include blankets, baby clothing, journals, teddies, footprint pads and candles.
Little Doves are seeking financial or in-kind support to continue the initiative; you can donate at gofundme.com/2ekptvn7.
Alternatively, the group is seeking donations of items listed on their Facebook page: facebook.com/littledovesperth.