Supporting families at the hardest of times
“We can’t make this time any less painful, but we can help ensure each family has the support they want and need”
Tamara is one of our Clinical Nurse Specialists at Alexander Devine. This Baby Loss Awareness Week she talks about the vital role she plays in supporting families at the hardest of times.
The loss of a pregnancy or infant is a very difficult subject for many parents, parents-to-be, and their families. They find themselves suddenly thrust onto a new path they never expected to be on. Everyone’s journey on this path is unique and Tamara and Alexander’s Care Team are there to give support when it is needed:
Alexander Devine often receives referrals from neonatal teams when babies have complex healthcare needs. We are skilled in providing compassionate care and support for the whole family from the first contact until after a child has died.
If an antenatal scan has picked up that a baby has a life-limiting condition, expectant parents can be referred to us. A joined-up approach is important so our Clinical Nurse Specialists meet with the obstetrician, midwives and hospice doctor to build a birth plan for the mother and advance care and symptom management plan for the baby once they are born.
Sadly, some of these babies pass away very soon after birth and we ensure they are comfortable to enable the parents to have precious time with their newborn baby. Being able to make special and lasting memories is so important and for many of these families we do what we can to facilitate special photo shoots and imprints of their hands and feet.
We also offer either the Dolphin Suite or the use of a cuddle cot, which enables the parents to take their baby home for a few days or spend time within the hospice with the support of the team. We help the families build memory boxes both during the pregnancy and after birth, and extend our support to siblings with specialist play and age-appropriate activities.
It’s such a rewarding part of my role as no matter how short a baby’s life is, to be able to offer support to the parents and family during such an incredibly sad time is such a privilege. We can’t make this time any less painful, but we can help ensure each family has the support they want and need and give them a dedicated and private space to be together.
Need our help?
The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.
Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and into surrounding counties. If you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.
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