Hospital shines lights to break silence on baby loss
King’s Mill Hospital is lighting up the night sky in blue and pink this week in memory of families that have suffered the loss of a baby and have been cared for at the hospital.
Two of the hospital’s towers will be lit up in blue and pink after dark each night to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week. The week-long national initiative runs from 9 to 15 October and is aimed at raising awareness of the loss of babies and providing an opportunity for bereaved parents, their families and friends to unite and commemorate their babies’ lives.
King’s Mill Hospital’s Bereavement Midwife, Melanie Butcher, said: “We’re joining buildings across the country in lighting up King’s Mill Hospital in the Baby Loss Awareness Week colours to show our support. We understand what a devastating time the death of a baby can be for parents and we hope that by acknowledging the week, we can help families to feel less isolated by loss and raise awareness of the additional services and care that we as an organisation provide.
“Through the maternity bereavement services that we have at King’s Mill Hospital, we are able to provide dedicated care and support to families who have experienced the loss of a baby, helping to make a difficult time a little less painful.”
During the week, tea lights will also be given out to visitors to King’s Mill Hospital so that they can take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’ on Sunday 15 October, which is recognised as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Starting at 7pm on Sunday, these candles can be lit privately or with friends. If left burning for one hour, there will be a continuous wave of light across the world.
The hospital will also be holding its second baby loss support group meeting on the same day (Sunday 15 October). The group gives grieving parents the opportunity to meet and talk to other parents who are going through a similar experience in a friendly and understanding environment.
The group is the first of its kind in the Mansfield area – until it was set up, local families who had suffered the loss of a baby had to travel as far as Nottingham to find a support group.
Melanie added: “Providing help and understanding to bereaved parents and their families is extremely important to us, which is why we have formed the support group. We identified that there isn’t already a group locally for parents or families who have been affected by the devastation of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, babies being born asleep or babies who have lived for only hours, days of weeks, so we wanted to create a support network locally for them. The group provides a relaxed environment for anybody who thinks that it would benefit them.”
The group will meet on Sunday 15 October between 2.30pm and 4.30pm in the Pilgrim Centre at Mansfield Community Hospital. There will also be an information stand on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at King’s Mill Hospital (from 9am until 4pm) to raise awareness of baby loss and the services available at the hospital.