Baby Loss Awareness Week: Bereavement Support in our Maternity Services

5 Oct 2022, 2:56 p.m.

Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy can have a devastating impact on families. Our specialist bereavement services provide compassionate support for families, both immediately after the loss of their baby and in the days and months beyond.

The ongoing support offered by our Bereavement Specialist Midwife Nikki Dobson includes home visits, telephone contact or a mixture of both. The length of time and the frequency of support offered varies according to individual need.

Nikki Dobson, Bereavement Specialist Midwife said:

“In the Women’s Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, we have 2 dedicated bereavement suites, the Meadowsweet Rooms and the Snowdrop Suite, which were made possible by the support of Sands. Our bereavement suites allow families to be together and spend time with their baby in a safe and quiet environment.

“This is part of a range of support that we offer to parents who sadly lose their babies. Our medical photography team also offer a free memory making service that can provide families with beautiful photographs of their baby to keep if they wish.

“All our maternity staff have a mandatory training session regarding bereavement care. Our staff, particularly student midwives, as well as newly qualified and new to the Trust midwives, are encouraged to spend time with me as the Bereavement Specialist Midwife to discuss aspects of sensitive and compassionate care and communication.

“We are also in the process of implementing the National Bereavement Care Pathway, which aims to improve the care given to bereaved parents in the County. This will ensure that all areas affected by baby loss, including ultrasound, gynaecology, the Early Pregnancy Assessment service and Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) will follow the same pathways to improve parents’ experience.”

Baby Loss Awareness Week 9 - 15 October

  • Our annual Baby Remembrance Service this year is taking place at St Luke’s Church, Cheltenham on Friday 14 October at 7pm. The service is open to anyone who has been affected by the loss of a baby including parents or siblings, grandparents or relatives, friends and hospital staff. These losses may be recent or have happened many years ago.
  • During Baby Loss Awareness Week, a display advising information and support will be in the maternity corridor in the Women’s centre with an opportunity for parents to add a heart to the display tree with the name of their baby/babies
  • We will also be supporting the global Wave of Light on our social media channels on Saturday 15 October.

Myself and my partner recently lost our daughter who was born sleeping. Nikki was there supporting us and helping us through our days at the hospital and has continued to do house visits and phone call visits with us. Without the support and help from Nikki we would have been lost, she goes above and beyond for everyone she cares for.