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Brave parents helping others by sharing heartbreaking experience

2024-03-28T12:01:14+00:00Thursday 28 March 2024|

Two bereaved parents, who attended a joint Walsall and Wolverhampton event, have vowed to help others by sharing their stories following the support they received after the loss of their babies.

Azrah Moghal and Kiran Gill both shared their experiences at the second engagement session 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.

The event took place at Walsall Leather Museum last week and was held for parents to share their experiences and help healthcare professionals shape the support given following baby loss. Both Azrah and Kiran praised the support they received following their losses.

Azrah, from Walsall, gave birth halfway through her pregnancy on August 27 2022 after finding out her daughter Ziya Ali Abbas had a brain tumour.

The 38-year-old said: “At my 20 week scan they found my baby had abnormalities and I was referred for further tests and scans. At 24 weeks I was told she had a brain tumour and her head was growing rapidly.

“It was a horrendous time as we were given the decision to terminate the pregnancy or carry on. I wanted to continue with the pregnancy and by 25 weeks I felt reduced movements.

“I gave birth a few days later at Walsall Manor Hospital and was in a bad way. It was so traumatic but I had amazing support from The Lily Mae Foundation. They really helped my husband and I process what had happened. Also specialist bereavement midwife Laura Atkinson really helped us afterwards too, especially getting all the meeting and debriefs sorted.”

Azrah is now a Black Country Maternal Mental Health Service Peer Support Worker and provides a listening ear to others. She also volunteers for the Lily Mae Foundation which is a support charity for parents and families who have lost a baby to stillbirth.

She said: “If I can help just one person by sharing my story I want to do that. You are not alone and there are lots of people out there who can support you.”

Kiran from Wolverhampton also attended the event. She had a stillbirth at 31 weeks in March 2023 after attending New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton due to reduced movements.

The 29-year-old said: “I had a textbook pregnancy but at 31 weeks I had reduced movements. It was confirmed that my baby’s heart had stopped beating and I was induced. I was really supported by Carole Sadler, Bereavement Midwife. She spoke to us in hospital and also continued with her support in the weeks and months which followed.

“If it hadn’t been for Carole I would have really really struggled. Her support was invaluable.”

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 set up these events to enhance the support and care we offer and hope to make them regular sessions.”

Kirsty Malcolm, Specialist Midwife for Bereavement Services at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “The bereavement listening event has been well received by the families who felt they could be there. When supporting a family during the heartbreak of a pregnancy and baby loss, ensuring they do not feel alone is extremely important.

“This event helps bring families together and provides additional support along with discovering where improvements can be made to the bereavement service within maternity.”

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