Sheffield’s Jessop Wing is to be illuminated in pink and blue to raise awareness of pregnancy loss and baby death in the UK during Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs from Wednesday 9 October to Tuesday 15 October.
The specialist maternity hospital, which is run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and provides leading facilities to women and their babies before, during and after childbirth, will be lit up from dusk to dawn every evening during the national awareness campaign to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth and in infancy.
The University of Sheffield will also be marking the occasion by shining pink and blue lights on the concourse connecting the Students’ Union area with the Alfred Denny building at the University of Sheffield and displaying images of candles on the large plasma screens in the Students’ Union in memory of babies that have been lost.
Baby Loss Awareness Week culminates in a global Wave of Light on Tuesday 15 October on International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Dr Elspeth Whitby, honorary consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, said: “We are humbled to be joining forces with the University of Sheffield to commemorate the lives of babies that have been lost during pregnancy, after birth and in infancy.
“Tragically pregnancy loss and baby death can happen to anyone at any time. By illuminating key buildings and areas throughout the city we hope to shine a light on the silent taboos around pregnancy loss and early-life baby loss and highlight the support services that are available to people going who have been through or are going through this devastating experience.”
In 2016 more than 5,500 babies in the UK were recorded as stillborn or died shortly after birth.
Jessop Wing Bereavement Services support over 250 bereaved families each year following miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.
The team currently consists of a bereavement midwife, a psychological wellbeing midwife and two bereavement support officers. Jessop Wing Bereavement Services work collaboratively with clinical teams to provide support to parents including clinical care, cuddling, bathing and dressing babies, memory making such as taking photographs, ink and clay hand and footprints, memory boxes and bears, funeral arrangements and the legalities of the birth/death registration process.
Jessop Wing Bereavement Services also provide support, advice and training to the midwifery, medical and support teams.
On Friday 11 October, Jessop Wing Bereavement Services are hosting an awareness event in the Moor Market to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week. The event aims to raise awareness and break taboo’s around pregnancy and baby loss whilst promoting health education during pregnancy such as safer sleeping, effects of smoking and reduced fetal movements. To contact the Jessop Wing Bereavement Services contact 0114 226 8425.