Although being pregnant and having a baby is safer now than ever before, unfortunately some events are out of our control and sometimes pregnancy does not have the happy ending that we had planned and hoped for. It is always a very sad and difficult time when families are faced with unexpected loss in this way and leaves parents feeling vulnerable, angry, and confused. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has a dedicated bereavement team who can support you at this very difficult time.
Having a baby should be an exciting and wonderful chapter in our lives, however for many families that is sadly not the case. In the UK 12,000 families a year will experience the tragic loss of babies either due to stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death. This leaves many families and couples feeling vulnerable, angry, frustrated, alone, confused and devastated.
Unfortunately, we can’t take away the pain of loss, but we do all we can to support families at this difficult time.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust offers the following services to support parents & families following the loss of a baby.
For many families, it is important to create as many memories and keepsakes as you can when your baby has died. Staff will therefore help to support you in making decisions about mementoes that is right for you such as
- Naming the baby.
- Seeing and holding the baby.
- Washing and dressing your baby.
- Photographs and scan pictures.
- Keeping name bands and the cord clamp.
- Hand and Footprints
- Certificates of acknowledgement.
- Teddy bears.
- Holding a special blessing or ceremony.
The hospital Chaplaincy Service includes representatives from all faiths, and they are here to support families in any way that they need. The team is committed to listening to parents and you don’t have to be religious to talk to a member of the team. Many parents have found it useful to help them through this difficult time.
The Chaplaincy team can also offer support with discussing Funeral Arrangements and the options that are available to you.
Many Baby Loss Charities support the Bereavement Services at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, enabling parents to make special memories following the death of their baby and will continue to provide support for parents following their discharge from hospital.
4 Louis – Memory Boxes
The Lily Mae Foundation – Memory Boxes and Sibling Support Packs
Teddy Rose Foundation – Comfort Packs
Remember my baby – Baby Loss Photography
Rose & Daisy Foundation – Parent Wellbeing packs / Memory Bears
Aching Arms – Memory Bears
SANDS – Literature support for parents
Walsall Well Wishers Charity – Support to Bereavement services
Miscarriage Association – Miscarriage support leaflets
Twins Trust – Support for baby loss in multiple pregnancies
You will be invited back to the hospital for an appointment with the consultant to go over the events of your pregnancy, receive support and discuss results from investigations and post mortem results if you have consented to one. Depending on the types of investigations performed sometimes the appointments can be up to 12 weeks after admission to the hospital. Often these appointments are a stressful and emotional time for you and for this reason a member of the specialist bereavement team will attend these appointments to give you extra support. This is a useful opportunity for you to ask questions so make sure that you write down any questions you have, as sometimes they may be forgotten during the consultation. This may also be a time to think about the future and make plans for support in future pregnancies.
In October every year the trust holds our baby memorial service, parents are sent an invitation to attend this lovely service. Parents of all faiths and none are welcome to the service, and it is often also attended by staff members.
Specialist Bereavement Midwife – Laura Atkinson
Office: 01922 721172 ext 7805
Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care
Telephone: 01922 721172 ext 3097
Telephone: 01922 721172 ext 6238
Telephone: 01922 721172 ext 4637
Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit
Telephone: 01922 721171 ext 7373
Hospital route 224
Gynaecology Ward (Ward 23)
Telephone: 01922721172 ext 6213
Hospital route 224
Telephone: 01922 721172 ext 6350
Telephone: 01922 721172 ext 6283 or 3195
Hospital Route 128