King's Lynn hospital lit up as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week
Lynn's hospital has been lit up in distinctive blue and pink colours in support of Baby Loss Awareness Week and the Trust’s Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal .
Throughout Baby Loss Awareness Week , the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are sharing stories from bereaved parents and helping to raise awareness of baby loss and the Bereavement Suite Appeal across their social media channels.
Taking place October 9-15 every year, Baby Loss Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss in the UK with the Corn Exchange and Lynn Town Hall also set to be lit up from dusk on Thursday evening. Downham's St Edmund's Church will also be illuminated blue and pink from 7pm to 8pm on Thursday,
The Day Surgery Unit at the hospital was illuminated on Friday night to shine a light on the cause.
A fundraising campaign is underway to raise £185,000 to build a Maternity Bereavement Suite at the hospital, which was voted as the Lynn News Charity of the Year for 2020.
This would improve the environment and facilities at the Trust for families from our local community who are unfortunate enough to lose their babies either during, or shortly after birth.The suite will enable families to spend time with their babies in a more homely environment away from the maternity suite.
Amanda Price-Davey, head of midwifery at the Trust, said: “Baby Loss Awareness Week is an important time of the year to the bereaved families that our Maternity Team support.
"I’m pleased that we are able to light up our Day Surgery Unit in the pink and blue colours to commemorate this difficult time of year for so many so have lost their children either during or shortly after birth.”
Local bereavement support group Whispers from Wings have lined up activities and means of raising funds for the Bereavement Suite appeal, including selling Christmas cards.
Sarah Chapman of the group said: "Every year we try to add more to it although we are limited with everything going on at the moment."
Mrs Chapman and her husband Liam's daughter Eliza Jane was stillborn at Lynn's hospital in February 2018, and the couple have been passionate about marking BLAW ever since, and have organised the Corn Exchange and Town Hall to be lit up for the week.
The Whispers from Wings co-founder said: "There is an abstract concept that because the woman carries the baby they suffer from the loss more, but both Liam and me equally lost the baby.
"I was excited when I carried her [Eliza Jane] and felt her kicking my tummy the whole time. The heartbeat of the mother is like the music to the child as they have grown up hearing that in the womb, but the partner is affected just as much."
As part of the week, a ‘Wave of light’ takes place on October 15 in which families light a candle for at least an hour to create a worldwide wave of light.
Verity Gamble, who co-founded Whispers from Wings with Mrs Chapman, added: "The hospital have a lot to with BLAW now with chaplains and they were going to have a tree with a ribbon and stalls where you could buy the worldwide pin but obviously we can't do that now.
"We were trying to think of something we could do and Naomi Lowry is a bereaved mum herself and a local artist pledged to create Christmas cards, which will be sold in packs of six and promoted on our Facebook page.
"Even though awareness is increasing, having a week where you can do creative things and circulate more information through the Wave of Light and lighting candles, gets more people involved."
Services will take place at Ely Cathedral and Norwich Cathedral following BLAW, which Mrs Chapman is involved with. A Doorway of Hope Vigil will take place at Norwich on October 22, while Ely's is on November 15 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
The Stillbirth and neonatal death charity (Sands) has also held a virtual Baby Loss Memorial service this week in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's chaplaincy team.
The services are for anyone who has lost a baby during pregnancy, at birth or in early years, whether the loss was recent or 80 years ago, or for those grieving the fact they have never been able to have a child for whatever reason.
Regarding, the Town Hall and Corn Exchange being lit up on Thursday borough councillor Josie Ratcliffe said: “I believe it's important to raise awareness and break the taboo of baby loss and I'm delighted that the borough council and Alive West Norfolk are supporting this request.”
Jade Blaney, who is an ambassador for CRADLE and who contacted her local councillor about the illumination, said: “I'm so pleased the Town Hall and Corn Exchange will be participating in the illumination. It means so much to me, and all bereaved parents.”
CRADLE is a registered early pregnancy loss charity and is part of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance. CRADLE works with the NHS to support women and their partners before, during or following pregnancy loss.
Mrs Blaney, who came across the charity while searching for support following her own loss, said: “I knew instantly that I wanted to put my pain to purpose and be involved in supporting other women through this heartbreak and help to break the taboo surrounding baby loss.”
The Baby Loss Awareness Week website states more than half of people who responded to a YouGov survey ahead of the week said that they had either been personally affected by pregnancy or baby loss, or knew someone else who had been through it.
A statement on the website adds: "The death of a baby will mean different things to everyone. Supporting parents involves understanding what is important to them, their families and communities. Why not start a conversation about ways of saying goodbye and remembering babies within your community?"
Show your support for Baby Loss Awareness Week by wearing the special Baby Loss Pin Badge, to support families affected by the death of a baby. The badges can be purchased through Sands and https://babyloss-awareness.org/.
To donate to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal, visit https:// www.justgiving.com/campaign/QEHMaternityBereavementSuite where nearly £41,000 of the £185,000 has been raised so far online.