Some babies are too small or too sick to survive, and some parents can face the heartbreaking decision of withdrawing care. Parents and families members that have experienced a loss on the neonatal unit may require specialist bereavement support. The pain and feelings of loss parents face after the death of their baby is indescribable. It also affects siblings, grandparents and the wider circle of family and friends. We are committed to supporting and encouraging families to access bereavement support.
Facilities and services for bereaved parents will vary depending on the neonatal units. There may be facilities which will enable families to stay with their baby for a day or two and the neonatal team should do everything possible to families parents are supported with any cultural or religious practices. All neonatal units will have a bereavement service and bereavement support may be available for the family at home.
The following two weeks after Phoebe’s death are still a blur. I remember the overwhelming feeling of grief kicking in whilst trying to plan a funeral and continue to be a mum to my other daughter, Lily. I felt so alone and as if nobody else understood what had happened or how I was feeling. I felt as if I would never be able to get past these feelings and that I would never feel happiness again. It is now coming up to Phoebe’s 2nd Birthday and I can say that I have felt happiness again. This does not mean the grief has gotten any less but I have found my ‘new normal’. I still think of Phoebe every single day, I still cry, I still look at photos over and over and this will never change. However, I have learnt to live my new life and Phoebe plays a massive part in mine and Lily’s life.
Katie, Mummy to Lily & Phoebe
Spoons has a Facebook bereavement support group. Run by a bereaved parent the group provides a safe and understanding space for other bereaved parents to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged.
We are also able to fund counselling and trauma therapy for families who have experienced a loss on the neonatal unit.
If you would like to support families who have experienced a loss please get in touch.