Late Miscarriage or Termination of Pregnancy for Medical Reasons – Guidance for parents

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We are deeply sorry that your baby has died and we would like to offer our condolences at this painful and difficult time. We know that you are likely to experience a range of emotions, and these emotions can make it difficult to know what to do.

We hope that this booklet will help you to know what will happen next, and to support you to make some necessary decisions. Please do not hesitate to ask whatever questions are on your mind. We will do our best to answer them.

Our midwives and doctors are here to help you in any way that they can. If you wish, we can also put you in touch with people who can offer you continuing support when you return home. You can also contact the Miscarriage Association (Tel – 01924 200799), who will be able to offer you continuing support and give you the local support group phone number.

It is likely that for a time you will feel numbed by what has happened, emotionally confused and uncertain about what needs to happen next. For most people this is not a time for making hurried
decisions. Give yourselves time and space to consider your own true feelings and the various possibilities open to you.

Seeing your Baby
You will have the opportunity to see and hold your baby if you would like to do so. If you or your partner wishes to do so after the birth, please ask the Midwife caring for you.

Naming your Baby
It may not always be possible to identify the sex of your baby at the time of the birth. In this situation you may wish to consider choosing a name that is suitable for either a boy or a girl.

Blessing your Baby
If you would like your baby to be blessed by the hospital chaplain or a Leader from your own faith or belief group, this can be arranged. This does not have to be religious.

Photographs and Mementos
You may wish to take photos of your baby using your own camera or mobile phone. We can also take some for you, for example a photo of you holding your baby. We can take photos and give you a ‘SD’ memory card, which you can keep and take away.

Saying farewell to your baby
There are no requirements for you to register your baby or for a funeral to take place. There is however a requirement for a cremation or burial and many bereaved families request a simple ‘farewell’ service. Such a service does not require a particular religious belief or practice. Some parents wish to take their baby home and bury their baby themselves. This can be done if you own your home and inform the local authorities or if you rent, you can ask your landlord.

There are regulations and you can discuss these with the bereavement midwife or mortuary staff. Your baby must go to the mortuary before being able to leave the hospital. Many people find that preparing a personal service and farewell for their baby helps them express their grief. Often the service can be an immense source of comfort. However, some people decide that they do not want, or it is too difficult for them, to organise or to attend a farewell service.

In this case the following arrangements can be made:
The chaplaincy department will organise a cremation at Crownhill Crematorium. Your baby will be taken together with other babies each in their own individual caskets to the Crematorium. There
will be a group committal unless you request otherwise. This means a group of babies will be cremated together. The hospital chaplain or a local minister will say some prayers. The cremated remains will be buried in the Children’s Garden at the Crematorium.

Arranging a Farewell Service for your Baby
There are two options:

• Option One: Privately
You are welcome to make the farewell arrangements yourself by contacting a local funeral director. They will make the arrangements for a burial or cremation. You may be charged a fee for these services. It is a good idea to check before you commit to the service.

• Option Two: Hospital
The hospital will make the arrangements and you can be as involved as much as you want to be.
This can either be:

Cremation – The hospital will pay for the cost of the cremation, which will take place at Crownhill Crematorium. Any cremated remains are usually placed in the ‘Children’s Garden of Remembrance’ within the Crematorium grounds. Sometimes families wish to take the cremated remains home with them, but it is important for you to know that there maybe only a small amount. You can collect them usually the day after the service by ringing Crownhill Crematorium on 01908 568112 and making arrangements with them to collect them.

Burial – Whilst some people choose to have a burial for specific personal or religious reasons, it is wise to consider all the implications of having a plot to maintain and how you may feel if you move away from the area. There are a number of cemeteries in Milton Keynes to choose from. There are Muslim gardens and separate grounds around Milton Keynes available if you can choose one nearer to where you live. The hospital will pay for the burial of your baby.

The Chaplain can discuss the options with you.

Other Considerations – You can decide who attends the cremation or burial. Some people decide only they will attend, whereas other’s will invite family and friends. This is your choice; think about what is right for you at this time. The hospital chaplain will be happy to discuss your particular wishes and will give you ideas for the service, with words and poems, if you would like this.

The hospital staff will answer any immediate questions you may have, but it is difficult to think of everything at this time. Your community midwife and GP will be informed of your loss. The bereavement midwife or community midwife will contact you and arrange to visit you. Some families do not want any visits, whereas others may need support for a while. A midwife will be able to discuss with you various issues, such as leakage of breast milk, vaginal blood loss, contraception and any concerns you may have.

Bleeding may continue for approximately 2 weeks and sometimes may be quite heavy, although some women continue with a light loss until their next period starts. You are advised not to resume sexual intercourse until the bleeding has stopped.

It is important that you contact your GP if you experience any of the following:
• Prolonged heavy bleeding with clots
• Vaginal discharge that looks or smells offensive
• Change in temperature and/or feeling unwell
• Pain when passing urine

Counselling and Advice
People react to a loss of their baby in many ways. Some find it hard to talk about the experience, some find it helps. Some people feel guilty or even angry. Some people work through their grief
quicker than others. We all cope differently.

Counselling and Advice
People react to a loss of their baby in many ways. Some find it hard to talk about the experience, some find it helps. Some people feel guilty or even angry. Some people work through their grief
quicker than others. We all cope differently.

Members of the caring team here to help you

Bereavement Midwife Monday-Friday 08:00 to 16:00 Mobile 07833482243
Contact via Hospital Switchboard: 01908 660033 Bleep 1981

Monday-Friday 08:00 to 16:30 Direct Line or Answer phone: 01908 996061/996062
Contact via Hospital Switchboard: 01908 660033
There is a chaplain on call 24 hours a day

Labour Ward
The ward is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Call 01908 996478 / 01908 996480.

Available support
The Miscarriage Association
c/o Clayton Hospital
Northgate, Wakefield
West Yorkshire WF1 3JS
Tel: – 01924 200799 (Answer phone out of hours)
They will put you in touch with somebody local.

Baby Loss Awareness
07900 495436

NCT Shared Experiences Helpline

Other Information

Entitlement to time off work and benefits
If your baby was born before 24 weeks you are entitled to sick leave for as long as your GP signs you off sick. Sick leave related to a pregnancy is protected in the same way as any sick leave taken during pregnancy. This means that the amount of sick leave that a woman can take is not limited and must be recorded separately from other sick leave taken. You may however decide that you wish to return to work.
Free legal helpline 0800 013 0313