“Grief and Loss can be incredibly hard to experience, throwing us into a state of chaos where, for a period of time, little makes sense and the world seems to be an unfair and scary place to be.
The loss of a baby, however, takes this experience to another level, with families feeling unimaginable pain. Different reasons can precede a baby’s death, sometimes giving the parents awareness of an inevitable loss, but sometimes not.
Parents are often left having to not only manage their own emotions, but also having to explain to others that the joy of pregnancy and excitement that people expect from a birth has been taken from them. It is also often the experience of families that after the first few weeks following a baby’s death, the world around the family begins to resettle, leaving families feeling isolated with their grief, and in need of a space to share their feelings and experiences.”
End of life care and bereavement support at Demelza
“At Demelza, we meet parents and families at different stages of their journey. Sometimes a connection is made through hospitals before birth, or in the hours after. However, often it is later than this; after a baby has spent a period of time in hospital, or at home with their families. We can also offer support to Demelza families after a baby has died, when a family can choose to spent time with their child in one of our bereavement suites, allowing them to spend time with their baby, caring for them and making precious memories, which is so important in managing grief.
Staff are available to guide and support with end of life care, but also know when to step back to allow families, alone time together. Alternatively, families may choose to engage with Demelza later in their grief.
The support that Demelza can offer is unique to each family as Demelza recognises that there is no one way to manage grief, or “a right way”. With this in mind, Demelza remains available to families, providing a range of support, from the earliest days, such as registering the baby’s death, arranging a funeral or accessing financial or community support, to the years following the death.
Emotional and social support available is founded on supporting families with making and retaining connections with their baby, alongside learning to continue with life and managing the loss and grief into the future.”
“This support is achieved through online cafes, groups for dads and grandparents, befriending and support for siblings, creative writing groups and art, music and talking therapies.
Alongside the regular sessions available, there are a number of events through the year to connect families and to enable times for reflection, support and memory making. Regardless of the choices a family makes in relation to support, they remain in the centre of our decision making and Demelza responds flexibly to their needs and wishes, aiming to remain responsive and present for the family.”
If you are a Demelza family and would like to access any of the services Jo has mentioned, please contact our Family Support Team by emailing FamilySupportDepartment@demelza.org.uk.
Alternatively, if you would like to make a referral, or find out more about who can access Demelza’s services please visit our referral page.