Sadly, some pregnancies end in loss. Currently in the UK there are 3.16 stillbirths per 1000, and 1.7 neonatal deaths (a baby who dies within the first 4 weeks of life). Babies are also lost through the difficult decision to end a much wanted pregnancy due to an abnormality detected antenatally.
Within our maternity department, we offer support, information and compassionate care when a baby dies at any stage in pregnancy. Dedicated bereavement support midwives work closely with gynae nurses, midwives and doctors, sonographers, chaplaincy and community staff to ensure joined up care and a point of contact at what is often a bewildering time.
Facilities and support available
The Early Gynae Assessment Unit (EGAU) is available to provide access to sonography and specialist advice for women up to 16 weeks pregnant experiencing symptoms such as bleeding and pain. Referral is via GP or midwife. Open for advice from 0715-1900hrs.
A Quiet Room in the clinic area provides a much needed private space to take in information when difficult news is given following ultrasound scan or screening tests.
The Hope Butler bereavement suite enables parents to have time together in early labour and following delivery. It is located close to the delivery suite to enable on-going care from midwifery staff, but with the facilities of double bed, bathroom and kitchenette provides a private and quiet space to spend time as a family, with the opportunity to have baby by the bedside in one of our cold cots according to parents’ individual wishes.
A memory box for keepsakes, along with personalised memory booklet is provided by staff, and parents are supported to help create memories through time with the baby, taking hand and footprints as well as photographs if wanted.
The community midwives offer to visit at home, and on-going support is provided by the bereavement midwives, along with Consultant follow up to discuss the results of any investigations carried out.
Any comments about the bereavement care received are welcomed by the team here. Feedback can be given via the online version of the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) developed by NHS England in conjunction with Sands by using this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/mtwmaternitybeareavementsurvey
An annual Service of Remembrance is held each year in Tunbridge Wells by SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) – please visit this website for information www.tunbridgewellssands.org/
Get in touch
- Bereavement Midwives: 01892 633484/ 07736 486032 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chaplain: 01892 635438 email@example.com
- Bereavement Services: 01892 632923/ 01622 224251
Further sources of support and information
- Tunbridge Wells Sands : Our local branch of the national organisation offering befriender support, parent groups for bereavement, miscarriage and next pregnancy, as well as online forums – and much more. www.tunbridgewellssands.org
- Miscarriage Association: www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk
- Tommys – tommys.org
- Antenatal Results and Choices: ARC is a national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening and its consequences. www.arc-uk.org
- Lullaby Trust: The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereaved families www.lullabytrust.org.uk
- Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA): Bereavement support for twins and multiple births www.tamba.org.uk/bereavement
- The Mariposa Trust: This charity offers support, information, national remembrance services and more https://www.sayinggoodbye.org/
- Remember My Baby: This is a registered charity who have professional photographers volunteering their photography services for the benefit of parents losing their baby before, during or shortly after birth. Photographers working in our local area can be contacted directly or by the midwives in the hospital by following the links on the website. http://www.remembermybaby.org.uk/