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Rosie bereavement services

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The Rosie bereavement team is comprised of maternity support workers, midwives and obstetricians.

The Rosie maternity service recognised the huge long term emotional impact pregnancy loss at any gestation has on families. The Rosie service provides support for all families experiencing a loss from 13 weeks gestation until the funeral. This involves liaising with the following stakeholders all of whom contribute to this package of care. The Trust’s contracted funeral directors, Arbury Burial site, chaplaincy and counselling services, Cambridge Crematorium, Cambridge Registers Office and in some cases the Coroner’s Office. We also engage with numerous charitable organisations that provide memory boxes, comfort bears and materials that complement the emotional support and practical care we give.

The team regularly reviews practice against the standards set out in SANDs guidelines and recently from the National Bereavement Pathway as well as feedback given from the service users in the Maternity Bereavement Patient Experience Questionnaire. The Rosie bereavement team is involved in the regional network of bereavement midwives this ensures our practice is informed by best practice.

Peter's story

Hayley delivered her baby Peter on the 30th July 2022. Weighing less than 500 grams, Hayley was not yet 22 weeks pregnant and after receiving the devastating news at her 20 week scan that he had a heart condition, her hopes of carrying her precious little boy to term and taking him home were torn from under her in a whirlwind of hospital appointments and a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

After IVF treatment and 2 early losses before Peter, reaching her dating scan was a milestone and although she, like many other mums after miscarriage or loss went through that anxiety of being pregnant again and wanting everything to progress normally, by the time her 20 week scan appointment arrived she felt somewhat positive and hopeful.

Once Peter’s condition had been formally diagnosed, Hayley and her husband had some time to prepare for a still birth, whilst feeling overwhelmed and afraid. For Hayley walking into delivery unit, seeing baby pictures on the wall and thank you cards was difficult. Once inside, the separate rooms designated for baby loss were far away enough to allow privacy and dignity. Her midwife Annie Miller delivered him with the same care and compassion as all her babies and Hayley felt this validated his life and allowed her and her husband those precious moments we all expect from giving birth. Hayley felt compelled to nominate Annie for a ‘ you made a difference award’, As she explains “My son isn’t here, but I am a mother and my husband is a father”.

In the hours that followed, Hayley had no idea what to expect, what she should do, she is eternally grateful for the team of bereavement midwives that guided her and her husband through it all, as she poignantly said, when you are pregnant you consider what pram you’ll buy, how you’ll become a family, not whether you will cremate your baby or what flowers you might choose for their funeral, all the choices parents make for their children and our last choice as parents was how we wanted to say goodbye. For Hayley it was the small things that made a difference, the tiny knitted clothes that Peter was dressed in, she realised that someone had lovingly knitted these and for Hayley this was like a hug from a stranger, the kindness and support that doesn't make it better but makes you feel someone has thought of you.

After losing Peter, Hayley and her husband were inspired to support families who experience baby loss and set up their charity, Second Star, (opens in a new tab) offering the provision of funeral flowers for babies lost during pregnancy and delivery. Like his namesake, Peter will be always be the little boy that never grew up, but his precious life has not been in vain. Second Star and the support it can offer The Rosie bereavement team to care for parents in such difficult times is invaluable and continues to raise awareness of Baby Loss.

Your donations make a difference, you can donate on the Second Star website (opens in a new tab).