The Doula Issue 39 Autumn 2020 - Flipbook - Page 16
Carly Williams and her partner Martin Sommerville are parents to Zephyr and
Sol, foster carers to a lovely teenage human and his dog! Carly works part-time
managing Zephyr’s Centre in Nottingham. The centre offers support to anyone
touched by the loss of a baby or child, including a monthly antenatal pregnancy
after loss support group called HOPE, run by amazing volunteers who’ve been
through the experience themselves.
Find out more here Facebook ZephyrsNottingham | Instagram @zephyrsnottingham | Twitter @zephyrsnotts
Or get in touch with Carly directly, she’d love to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways you might support mums and partners who are pregnant after loss
GIVE TIME: Some women and families may benefit from a bit more of your time – if possible that could be
offering longer or more regular appointments – if you can, be prepared to give added reassurance, emotional
support, and time to listen – pregnancy after loss can feel like such a roller coaster. Be aware that...
appointments during pregnancy might cause anxiety, some may have learned of the loss of their previous baby
during an appointment similar to how you’re seeing them.
ACKNOWLEDGE: It might seem obvious, but making sure you know a mother’s experience, either from her
notes or from asking, will help her feel validated, heard, and more at ease. Recognising the baby/ies who have
passed before this pregnancy is really important, as is your language – bear in mind that many will prefer you
to call their baby a baby ( and not a foetus) – better still, ask their little ones name/nickname; if they seem
comfortable to do so, give chance for them to share more too. Be aware that... everyone feels differently, try as
much as you can to follow their lead.
SUPPORT: Be open to conversation with mum and her partner too - mental health, coping with anxiety,
labouring after loss, as well as feelings post-birth too. Remember, the majority of ladies and their families, want
to let you know about their babies who they’ve carried before this pregnancy. Be aware that... depending on
how they feel, what someone wants from you might ebb and flow. Reaching the previous gestation that they lost
their other little one(s) at, may bring mixed and powerful emotions.
Plan for POSTNATAL CARE: Encourage mum and her partner to consider how they might feel after their baby
is born, and be willing to be there, or make sure others are ready, to continue to offer emotional support for
parenting after loss, beyond physical affects and post-partum recovery. Be aware that... some people might
not be able to imagine bringing their baby home; if you can, plan for the postnatal period, as and when they feel
able and ready.
You might want to...
Find out about CONI The Care of Next Infant support program, run by The Lullaby Trust.
Look up Tommy’s and other Rainbow Clinics - who support pregnancy after loss – even if there isn’t
something local to you, there are lots of useful resources online.
Other great online support can be found at pregnancyafterlosssupport.org and #RainbowBabyHour
Talk to your local bereavement midwife about how they might offer support in pregnancy after loss –
sometimes they can help mum & partner to re-visit the labour ward/hospital in advance of birth, to tackle any
triggers, emotions or memories, to prepare them for returning, with hope, for a living baby.
With loving thanks to members of the Zephyr’s centre HOPE group for pregnancy after loss,
who kindly contributed their thoughts and feelings for these hints and tips. x
THE DOULA UK PODCAST
WITH LEILA BAKER
The Doula UK podcast with Leila Baker is for doulas, birthworkers,
educators and everyone interested in the pregnancy, birth and postnatal
world. The Doula UK podcast is designed to start conversations, inspire,
connect and empower! Subscribe on Apple, Spotify or go to Anchor FM.
16 The Doula | Autumn 2020 | © Doula UK