Baby Loss Awareness Week: Guy’s and St Thomas’ opens new bereavement suite for grieving parents

Katherine Johnston (21 October, 2020)

'It’s really important that we raise awareness of these issues to provide even better care and to ensure families don’t suffer alone'

39711Candles at a special service during baby loss awareness week at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital marked baby loss awareness week with a special service at the hospital to support bereaved families.

The hospital has also opened a newly refurbished bereavement unit for grieving parents.

The Butterfly Bereavement Suite opened on Wednesday (October 14). 

Zahra Famili, specialist bereavement midwife, said: “The facility provides support to families suffering the devastation and trauma of baby loss. 

“It is separate from our labour ward so parents can grieve in private without having to see families with new babies.

“It was very important to us that the room provides as much comfort, peace and support as possible. 

“Bereaved families were involved in the refurbishment and helped to influence the design. 

“As a result, the room feels more homely than clinical and there is sufficient space for partners to spend the night so families can be together.

“The room also contains bereavement items such as a memory box for parents to make special keepsakes and spend precious time with their babies. 

“The feedback from families has been very positive. 

“The room has provided them with comfort during a very difficult time.”

Bereavement specialist Zahra Famili inside the newly refurbished unit

Guy’s and St Thomas’ has been the first NHS trust in London to work with the charity Cradle to provide parents dealing with early pregnancy loss with peer support, comfort bags, and outpatient support packs.

Bereaved parents are also offered a ‘cold cot’, donated by the baby loss and stillbirth charities Abigail’s Footsteps, SiMBA, 4Louis and the manufacturer of Cuddle Cots, so they can stay with their babies for longer and say goodbye in their own time.

The trust has also partnered with the charity Remember My Baby to provide free professional photography to families suffering the loss of a baby.

Zahra added: “Losing a baby during pregnancy or birth is a huge tragedy. 

“Our bereavement team and specialist services are there to support parents going through an extremely difficult time. 

“We are very proud to support Baby Loss Awareness Week and are thankful to all of the charities who have provided us with bereavement items to help families make special memories with their babies. 

“It’s really important that we raise awareness of these issues to provide even better care and to ensure families don’t suffer alone.”

King’s College Hospital also joined the international ‘wave of light’ movement; lighting candles in memory of babies who died during pregnancy or in early infancy.

 

Candles and remembrance at King’s College Hospital

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