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Enhancing support for bereaved parents

2024-03-12T17:02:45+00:00Tuesday 12 March 2024|

Bereaved parents and their families who have used Maternity and Neonatal Services across Walsall and Wolverhampton are invited to attend an engagement session to share their experiences and help healthcare professionals shape the support given following baby loss.

The event, on Tuesday 19 March, has been organised through Specialist Bereavement Midwives at Walsall Healthcare and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trusts, in partnership with the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnerships from both areas. (MNVP).

Taking place at Walsall Leather Museum in Littleton Street, WS2 8EW, it will be split into two sessions. The first will be 10am until 12noon and children are welcome to attend. The second, following lunch that will be provided from 12noon-1pm, will run from 1pm-3pm with no children or babies in attendance. Places need to be booked via this link

It is open to those who have experienced Sudden Infant Death, those who had to have a termination, those who have suffered an early miscarriage, those who have experienced a Neonatal death and those who have had a stillbirth – whether recent or many years ago.

Laura Atkinson, Specialist Bereavement Midwife at Walsall Healthcare, said: “We know baby loss is absolutely devastating for parents and families and its impact lasts forever.

“We want to know what we can do to enhance the support and care we offer following this and how we can work with other partners to ensure necessary processes that follow are handled as compassionately as possible.”

Laura added if this session proves to be helpful for bereaved parents and families it is hoped to hold other events on a regular basis.

Nadia Griffin, Black Country MNVP Co-ordinator, organised a similar event in Dudley last year which highlighted a number of areas bereaved parents and families felt needed to be improved.

“She said: “It was a really worthwhile event and I thank all those who shared their experiences – some of which dated back more than 20 years but were still vivid memories.

“Communication was a recurring theme with families having to constantly explain their story over and over again, particularly difficult during subsequent pregnancies.

“And some mentioned having to register their baby’s death whilst in a queue with parents who had their babies with them. Or being chased as to why they hadn’t yet registered the baby’s birth just days after they had died.”

There was also a lot of praise for the support offered through Dudley’s Bereavement Team at Russells Hall Hospital following a loss and through Dudley’s Rainbow Clinic team within Russells Hall Hospital during subsequent pregnancies.

Parents suggested the idea of a rainbow sticker to symbolise a previous loss to be used across healthcare notes across the Black Country.

Nadia added: “We hope the joint Walsall and Wolverhampton event will be just as useful and will help our Black Country Maternity and Neonatal Services colleagues to continue meaningful support after baby loss.”

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