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October 15th 2020

Medical Negligence

Non-judgmental and specialist local support is available for parents feeling guilt, denial and anger after the loss of a baby

Non-judgmental and specialist local support is available for parents feeling guilt, denial and anger after the loss of a baby

As part of Hudgell Solicitors’ support of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Jo Irvin, Clinical Lead at the House of Light charity, outlines its help to bereaved parents

As part of Hudgell Solicitors’ support of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Jo Irvin, Clinical Lead at the House of Light charity, outlines its help to bereaved parents

Baby loss is obviously a very traumatic event in life which happens in lots of different ways and affects women and their families in differing ways also.

At House of Light, we are proud of the support we provide to people across Hull and the East Riding who find themselves adapting to life having lost a baby, whether that be loss through miscarriage, medical terminations or still birth.

Often the medical process involved itself leaves patients with ongoing trauma, even before they start to mentally process the loss of their baby.

There are also often feelings of guilt, denial and anger. It can, and often does affect a woman’s ability to manage future pregnancies and birth, and can result in severe perinatal anxiety and Tokophobia (the fear of giving birth).

Fathers often struggle to cope too. They can find it hard to open up and seek help, facing different social pressures as to how they feel they should ‘cope’ with the loss and be strong for their partners.

Providing specialist support is something we share in common with the team at Hudgell Solicitors, who we know sadly meet many parents who have been left questioning why their baby died during pregnancy or birth.

The Hudgell team recognises that, beyond legal advice, families are facing the most difficult of times and need networks of experienced support, and it is why they turn to established groups such as ourselves to help their clients.

Our specialists at the House of Light always support people who have suffered baby loss in a very gentle manner, ensuring our therapists give patients the chance to share their feelings.

Our counsellors provide a platform for them to speak to professionals who are specially trained in perinatal mental health and is non-judgmental and accepting of them and how they are feeling.

Feeling that they have that ear of understanding, and benefitting from a non-directive therapeutic process to begin with where they can express exactly how they feel, is crucial to helping bereaved parents make the first steps towards a better place, mentally.

This has become an increasing part of our work over the past couple of years, as it became clear that although midwives were doing an incredible job in offering support at difficult times in hospital, it wasn’t enough.

Parents were leaving hospital without their babies and once back home were not being offered any specific, specialist counselling.

As we work very closely with midwives, parents are now increasingly being referred to us for support.

We are here to help everyone and we won’t turn anybody away who is struggling, be it mum, dad, or wider family members such as grandparents.

There is no set process for supporting somebody through the psychological impact of baby loss. Everybody needs to be supported in a different way, and for differing periods of time, and this is why our work is so important to us.

We were established as a not-for-profit registered charity in 2007 and since then we have supported thousands of women and their families come through antenatal and postnatal Illness, as well as baby loss.

In 2020, that support has of course had to be delivered in a very different way. Much of our counselling support has had to be provided on the telephone, rather than in face to face sessions, but for some this has actually made it more accessible.

Whatever way it is delivered, our support and commitment remains the same.

We are proud to work alongside other initiatives as part of Let’s Talk counselling service, which is made up of different organisations that have come together to support people with mental health conditions locally.

If you would directly contact our team to self-refer, call 0800 043 2031, text 07854 220790 or email help@pndsupport.co.uk

Alternatively, contact Let’s Talk on 01482 247111 and they will refer you to the relevant local support service.

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