12 #MatExpAdvent -ures
I'm so lucky to work in maternity it's such a happy cheerful specialty after all, joyous & rewarding isn't it! Except when it isn't ....when there is the most heart stopping silence
So sad & shocking and yet hardly talked about
Obviously work is underway to try & reduce the numbers with initiatives such as @EachBabyCounts & @SignUpToSafety but I want to focus on a different aspect ....
I think it's a taboo area....... that of bereavement in maternity care & it's not just health professionals who struggle to say & do the right thing it seems like society has a problem too, women tell me of problems with family & friends in their everyday lives.
Conventional 'patient experience surveys ' exclude bereaved families in an attempt to be sensitive , We were so fortunate that a bereaved mother shared her story at the second #MatExp workshop at Lewisham. These are some of the most vulnerable distressed families in our communities how can we improve things if we don't even include them in asking the question.
So what can we do?
Kindness & compassion will certainly help 💜 Here are a few more simple improvement ideas
These bereavement cards are already helping parents & healthcare professionals too @LeighaKendall #Hugoslegacy
#saytheirname is a simple campaign anyone can take part in, remember you are not reminding parents their baby has died but are acknowledging their existence
@Edspire inspires in #FlamingJune thinking about how to support siblings
& what about those not even counted in the numbers babies lost earlier in pregnancy & the heartbreak this brings. @PinksNBlues have been trying to raise awareness & support these families
There are gaps in care elsewhere too . Some families struggling with bereavement as a consequence of antenatal screening have been excluded from support groups as they have had a termination of pregnancy. @ARCantenatal provide information for both parents & professionals.
We are so fortunate to have a new bereavement room for families through @SandsUK but not all maternity units are so lucky. @ben4ipswich has recently started a campaign to get a similar rooms nationwide
Getting experience right at such a devastating time is crucial to those precious memories as an amazing film by @AbigailsCharity shows
Click here to watch the film
So in 2016 'Nobody's Patient' #MatExp project was born
Working with Catherine @thepinksnblues to highlight care of those families who lose their baby in the second trimester has been fantastic
Our new material really opened up conversations & helped bereaved families talk about their care at such a difficult time whether their baby died during pregnancy or in the early hours or days of life
Are we getting somewhere with awareness?
Fantastic to hear Antoinette Sandbach MP at #HopeDec09 House of Commons talk of her experience of her son's death & how she is working hard to improve things for bereaved parents
She is doing amazing things! 2017 is bringing us new work by NHSEngland & London Clinical network on experience of bereaved parents so we ARE making change happen!
Babies will always be in our hearts never forgotten
Sleep in heavenly peace