The midwifery breavement teams at Hampshire Hospitals provide care to families following late miscarriage, stillbirth and babies who have died shortly after birth.
We know this can be an extremely difficult time for you and your family so we are here to support you both during your time in hospital and in the weeks and months that follow.
Our dedicated teams of midwives aim to provide continuity of care, usually in our specially designed Butterfly Suites which provide privacy and comfort while you are in hospital. Funded through our Charity ‘The Forget me Not Fund’, they are designed to be home from home and allow you to be able to spend as much time as you need with your baby after birth. You will be offered a comfort bag containing useful items to use while you are in hospital as well as information on support services.
You will be guided through your journey with practical information, understanding and emotional support . We will do our best to make sure that all your questions are answered and you do not feel alone.
We understand that every family’s experience is different and we aim to listen to what you feel you need in order to support you in the right way. Some of the options that will be offered to you are explained below.
You may want to have photos taken of your baby. Our staff are able to take photos for you and you will be given a memory stick to take home with the photos on. Should you wish for professional photography, our staff can contact www.remembermybaby.org.uk on your behalf to be able to come into the hospital . We are also able to take hand and foot prints, support you if you would like to bath your baby or take baby for a walk or even bring your baby home if this feels right for you. For some families, these memories are cherished and an important part of keeping your baby’s memory alive.. You will be offered a memory box which hold special things for you to remember your baby.
Our midwives will be able to inform you about any tests, investigations or further appointments required after the birth of your baby.
You will be invited back to the hospital to meet with a consultant who will discuss the results of any tests you have had done and answer any of your questions. Sometimes these appointments will be up to three months after the birth. We know it can be difficult returning to the hospital and you will be supported during the appointment with one of the bereavement team midwives.
Our staff will be able to inform you about the options available and answer any questions you may have. They can also assist with funeral arrangements, certificates and registration if this is required.
Our chaplaincy team are available 24/7 to provide a blessing or naming ceremony for your baby or to talk to you. You do not have to have a faith to be able to speak to them and they are able to assist with all faiths. Many parents find it helpful and comforting to speak to a Chaplain while in hospital.
To contact the chaplaincy team, please e mail email@example.com
If you have other children, we are able to offer them support too. To help with this we can provide them siblings with a sibling box from Nayas Wish. The box contains things which will help your child or children understand what has happened and comfort them. Nayas Wish can also be contacted directly for support and advice. www.nayaswish.com
In April and October we hold a service of Hope and Remembrance. These are special services dedicated to the memory of your baby and if you named your baby, their name can be read out during the service. Information on upcoming services will be available on our website as well as who to contact.
Remembrance book – if you would like to have an entry written into the remembrance book, please contact the bereavement team midwives. You may want to include a poem or some words which are special to you and your baby. The book is always available at the services of Hope and Remembrance.
A community midwife will make contact with you once discharged from hospital.
A member of the bereavement team will then contact you to offer ongoing support which may include a home visit. We understand that every family requires different levels of support following the loss of a baby so this support is individualised according to your needs.
The bereavement team will also ensure that you have all the information you need about local and national support services and can also refer you for counselling, holistic therapies and befriending services through SANDS if you wish.
We have a support group called Flutterbyes which is a closed FB group just for families who have had their care within Hampshire Hospitals. We hold a meeting once a month and welcome mums and dads along to this. The meetings are informal and you can stay for as little or as long as you want. It can be daunting at first to attend a bereaved parents meeting but we find that peer support and being able to chat to parents who have been through the loss of a baby too can be invaluable.
Sometimes supporting your partner at this devastating time can feel overwhelming. The support systems in place are there for you too.
We work closely with Sands United FC Salisbury –a unique way for dads and other male family members to come together though a shared love of sport. Based in Salisbury and run by a fellow bereaved father, Sam Woolford.