The Purple Butterfly Initiative

Supporting families mourning the loss of one child while still caring for and bonding with another.

The Purple Butterfly initiative is coming to New Zealand

The Neonatal Trust and Multiples New Zealand have partnered up to bring the ‘Purple Butterfly’ initiative to New Zealand. Both organisations share a common objective of supporting families facing stress and anxiety due to the arrival of new babies.

The Purple Butterfly sticker initiative has been developed in the United Kingdom by Millie Smith after the passing of one of her newborn twin daughters. Her daughter Skye had been diagnosed at 12 weeks with anencephaly and only lived for three hours after birth.

The family was allowed privacy, so when a parent of carrying twins staying at the same hospital unwittingly commented that Smith was lucky she did not have twins, Millie was devastated. She believes that “A simple sticker would have avoided that entire situation.”

This emotional experience prompted Smith to develop the purple butterfly initiative to represent the loss from a multiple and to make a difference to grieving families.

For more details about Millie’s experience, visit: www.babble.com/parenting/butterfly-stickers-milli-smith/

Neil O’Styke, Executive Director of The Neonatal Trust, said that “the Purple Butterfly initiative is great and will assist families struggling with the process of mourning the loss of one child while also looking after and bonding with another”.

It is more likely for a multiple pregnancy to result in premature birth. Carolyn Lister, President of Multiples NZ says “40% of twins are born early, as well as 90% of triplets. The gestational period is shorter than single births and as such, they are subject to further risk”.

A Givealittle page has been developed to:

Raise funds for a donation to the Skye High Foundation, in recognition of the work undertaken developing this concept and the resources

Develop the Purple Butterfly initiative for use in New Zealand NICUs and SCBUs

Supply Purple Butterfly stickers and create posters and resources to explain their purpose.

The initial goal is to raise $5,000. If this is exceeded, The Neonatal Trust will use this to provide additional support of neonatal families in New Zealand. Further, a joint resource development project between The Neonatal Trust and Multiples NZ is planned.

New Zealand is a world leader in neonatal care and research with an incredibly high survival rate for newborns. Unfortunately a very small number of babies do not survive, the families are supported through the grieving process and cherish any memories of their child.