Imagine you have just heard the news that every parent to be dreads – that you are losing your much wanted baby.
Then, you have to give birth, or support your partner giving birth on the labour ward in your hospital. You can hear the sounds of newborn babies crying and the associated sounds of joy, intensifying the agony you are going through.
When that happened to Louise Caldwell from Lanarkshire, she determined to change things. Her campaign for dedicated baby loss facilities has already been successful in her local hospital and the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland where she also experienced the loss of a baby. The Scottish Government has said that all hospitals will have these facilities within two years.
Next week she’ll be in Westminster talking to MPs about her experience and her campaign in the hope that such facilities will be introduced across the UK?
From the Daily Record:
Louise, from East Kilbride, told Lanarkshire Live : “I never imagined when I started the campaign that I, a mum from East Kilbride, would be speaking to MPs at Westminster.
“To achieve the new unit at Wishaw – which will hopefully open in the coming months – is a fantastic achievement but there is still so much to do – and I can’t do it on my own.
“I want to see the promise by the Scottish Government to have these facilities in hospitals elsewhere fulfilled and I want to see them replicated across the UK.
Shetland’s Lib Dem MP Beatrice Wishart was the first to raise this issue in the Scottish Parliament and she recently talked about it during Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Baby Loss Awareness Week is a chance to highlight that miscarriage and baby loss affect families across Scotland every year. An incredibly devastating and difficult time is often made worse because of the reluctance to talk openly about baby loss, and the treatment of women experiencing baby loss in regular labour wards.
“A refurbishment of the Gilbert Bain Hospital maternity unit is due soon which will include the creation of a bereavement suite and enable the hospital to extend its care for women experiencing baby loss up to 22 weeks.
“I am pleased that Louise Caldwell’s campaign has been successful and two dedicated perinatal loss rooms will be created at Wishaw General Hospital. I call on the Scottish Government and Health Boards to support hospitals across Scotland to follow suit, and welcome NHS Shetland’s progress in that regard.
“My thoughts are with all those affected by baby loss. Bereavement support is available from Sands, which have a local Shetland group, and the NHS.
Let’s hope that Louise and the experiences she shares with MPs from herself and from others who have been through the same thing, bring about better provision south of the border.
If you or someone you know has had the same experience, it might be worth contacting your local MP to make them aware of Louise’s campaign.