Sadly, in the UK, many families are affected by baby loss. It is at this terribly sad time that we have witnessed the positive work of the counselling charity, Petals.
Petals fund a specialist counselling service for parents who have suffered a loss during pregnancy and birth, as well as raising awareness of the need for psychological care for parents who suffer emotional distress in pregnancy and birth.
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place every year and during this week, along with other charities, Petals raises awareness about baby loss, reaching out to get people to talk openly about it and share with others how they may have been affected - #breakthesilence - http://petalscharity.org/blaw2016/
As Karen Burgess, Chief Executive of Petals says: “Every day at Petals our counsellors are hearing heart-breaking stories from parents whose lives have been devastated by the death of a baby – they feel isolated as family and friends struggle to know how to help them or know what to day. We need to break the silence and talk about these painful experiences and help parents to get the support they need to rebuild lives.”
I have seen first-hand how Petals counselling can help a family at such a difficult time, as Kym and Mark Field earlier in the year suffered the tragic loss of their baby boy, Alfie.
During birth, Alfie Field suffered loss of oxygen during his delivery and he was rushed to the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) but, when his condition did not improve, he died the following night. At his inquest the coroner, found that the difficulty interpreting Alfie’s heartbeat was “central to the problem” and that if the hospital staff had acted on the warning signs of Alfie’s abnormal heartbeat earlier it would have led to Alfie’s survival.
This highlighted the need for improvements in training and equipment for monitoring fetal heart rates, which is now taking effect at the hospital and Petals were fundamental in being able to provide on-going support for the family to help them through such difficult times.
This is precisely where charities such as Petals are so important in providing counselling and support for those affected and through sharing experiences and learning lessons improvements can be made in so many ways.
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