Saying goodbye to a baby in a 'less clinical and sterile environment' is important, says charity director
The director of a Norfolk pregnancy loss charity said she is pleased to learn Lynn’s hospital is fundraising for a new maternity bereavement suite.
Lesley Bradfield and her TimeNorfolk team previously backed plans for a new bereavement facility at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and have now said they strongly support Lynn following suit.
The charity is based in Norwich but covers clients in West Norfolk, and has two new volunteers from Lynn who are just completing their training and will then be supporting clients.
Mrs Bradfield said: “The suite will not take away their [parents] pain and grief during a very dark time but it’s about making it more bearable, if it means they can have their own space with their family members to say goodbye to their baby in a less clinical and sterile environment of a general hospital ward”.
TimeNorfolk’s ethos is to “spread hope after pregnancy loss” and they offer free face-to-face support to men and women who have experienced any type of pregnancy loss including miscarriage, stillbirth and termination. They also provide support to women with unplanned or complicated pregnancies or have any other pregnancy related issues.
Mrs Bradfield said: "Often parents feel they are in a surreal bubble after a loss, there may be a funeral to arrange, a death to register, all of this with empty arms. Just leaving hospital with a hospital bag and a memory box can be so hard."
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which was voted as the Lynn News Charity of the Year by readers, has set a fundraising target of £185,000.
A dedicated, soundproof facility will be built once that target is met where grieving families can create precious memories with their child.
Mrs Bradfield explained: “It is really, really important when you lose a baby to create memories, women will know when their due date is and will not forget. Memories can be made by taking pictures, baby clothes, hand and footprints created by a plaster mould. It’s important to have hope for the future and most will want some sort of memory.
“One of the biggest things to say is that every loss and story is individual.”
TimeNorfolk are trying to reverse the stigma associated with stillbirth loss.
Mrs Bradfield said: “It’s still a taboo subject. People do not want to talk about it and discuss it. When they do, they may come out with the wrong things which can be quite upsetting for the women."
TimeNorfolk are interested in more volunteers and you can find out more at www.timenorfolk.org.uk.
To donate to the QEH appeal visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/qehmaternity