EastEnders: Tragedy strikes as the soap tackles a stillbirth storyline

There are sad scenes ahead for one family as baby joy turns to grief

Shabnam Masood’s pregnany is set to end in tragedy as EastEnders tackles a stillbirth storyline.

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Shabnam and Kush will be devastated when their unborn baby dies, and the plot will follow the pair as they struggle to deal with effect the loss has on their lives.

EastEnders has been working closely alongside Sands, the stillbirth & neonatal death charity, to make sure the difficult storyline is as authentic as possible.

 “Sadly,stillbirth is not rare, it’s a devastating tragedy that affects thousands of people every year, from all walks of life” Erica Stewart, Bereavement Support Services Manager at Sands, said. “In the UK alone 5712 babies werestillborn or died within the first 28 days of life in 2013, shattering the lives of parents, their families and friends.”

“The death of a baby is rarely talked about” Stewart added. “Many people shy away from the issue, others have a misconception that this is a thing of the past.”

She’s hopeful that EastEnders’ decision to run the storyline will help lift the taboo and raise awareness of all the issues surrounding the death of a baby: “We worked closely with the writers and actors on this storyline. We really appreciatetheir dedication to ensuring that they portray the impact that the death of a baby has on bereaved families as truthfully as possible. Everyone involved has approached this storyline with incredible sensitivity.”

“In the UK, 3628 babies were stillborn in 2013, that’s one in every 216 births; a shocking fact I’ve come to learn during my preparation for telling this story”, Rakhee Thakrar, who plays Shabnam, added. 

“It is an experience that profoundly changes a person’s life forever, and we feel a heavy responsibility to tell the truth of this. Our hope is that we can encourage people to talk about their experiences and their babies that have died.”

EastEnders will air these scenes towards the end of August.

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