Although pregnancy and childbirth is safer now than ever before, not all pregnancies have the happy ending hoped for. It is always a very sad and difficult time when families are faced with unexpected loss and parents can be left feeling vulnerable, angry and confused.

In the UK around 12,000 families a year will experience the tragic loss of babies either due to stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death. Here, at Great Western, we support many families who encounter this devastating and life changing experience.

Unfortunately, we can’t take away the pain of loss, but we do all we can to support families at this difficult time. Great Western Hospital has experienced bereavement midwives able to help. They provide practical guidance, information and emotional support to families affected by baby loss. They work alongside the hospital chaplaincy service to support families in any way they need.

Bereavement rooms

We have bereavement rooms within our maternity unit. The 'Forget Me Not' room is located on the delivery suite where women and their families are cared for during the birth of their baby. These rooms have ensuite facilities with a double bed and a homely feel. Occasionally, care may be provided in an alternative hospital room due to capacity.

Some families will choose to spend a short time in hospital with their baby whereas others may wish to spend longer. All families are offered the opportunity to spend time with their baby. Our team are experienced in supporting families with this.

Making memories

Great Western Hospital offer a range of memory making opportunities, which includes photographs, memory boxes, and inkless hand/footprints.

Many families have told us how grateful they were to be able to spend time with their baby, bathing, dressing and making memories.

We are also able to offer Ibraheem's Gift packs containing the immediate necessities that parents may need to help them prepare for their baby's Muslim burial.

For any families that are struggling there is lots of support available please see the list of links below.

We understand that pregnancy after loss can be a very challenging, parents often describe the need for extra support which the bereavement midwives at Great Western hospital can offer women and their families in any pregnancy following a loss  

Further information

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS)

Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. Founded in 1978, Sands exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it wherever they are in the UK.

Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC)

Helping parents and professionals through antenatal screening

Miscarriage Association

Further support