Baby Loss Awareness Week: helping bereaved families

A spiral of words which say Spiralling our love on and on. Remembering our babies and children who have died
Support for parents who have suffered the loss of a baby or child are the focus at Nottingham’s hospitals this Baby Loss Awareness Week, which takes place from 9th to 15th October.

The Zephyr’s centre, at Nottingham City Hospital, receives over 1,000 visits per year from bereaved parents and families. The centre, which is run by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, provides support for families who have lost a pregnancy, baby or child of any age.

Support from Bereavement Midwife

Christa Burgess, Bereavement Midwife at Nottingham’s hospitals, said: “The death of a baby or child at any age can be a really lonely grief, and Zephyr’s provides a safe, nurturing place where families can come and spend time with other families and gain strength and support from one and other. Through Zephyr’s families can also access specialised baby loss counselling which is so essential.

Zephyr’s was created thanks to Carly Williams and Martin Sommerville, from Nottingham, who together with hospital staff, other bereaved parents and local families, fundraised to set up the centre, named after their first son Zephyr who was stillborn in 2013. The centre offers counselling, peer support and creative activities.

Carly, who is now Project Manager of Zephyr’s, said: “When a doctor meets parents at Zephyr’s now, the family can come into a calm, quiet and homely space, that will not be interrupted, nor disturbed, and where every aspect of the centre has been chosen, decorated, or created by other bereaved families. It’s those little details that really do matter, as they do just a little to soothe or support broken hearts and lives.

“Since using Zephyr’s parents have often remarked on the more homely, less clinical, atmosphere. The rooms are relaxed, the chairs are comfortable, and there is capacity to make a drink. Parents do not need to come through the maternity unit entrance, and they can park close to the centre. The meetings somehow feel a little less stressful.

A unique artwork, Spiral in Honour

During October, members of the public who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, baby or child will also have the opportunity to have a name dedication on a unique memorial artwork. The Spiral In Honour will be a natural wood artwork which will be unveiled in December and be on display in Zephyr’s. Those wishing to dedicate the name of a baby or child can do so by clicking here. For more information about our Zephyr’s Appeal please click here.

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