Norwich hospital: Mother of stillborn baby raises money for suite

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Jenny Whatling

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Jenny Whatling (pictured with her three-month-old daughter) said it was “comforting” to know families would have the space they needed

A separate hospital bereavement suite for families experiencing baby loss and part-funded by the mother of a stillborn baby has opened.

The £35,000 facility at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital allows parents and family members who have lost a baby to have time together.

Jenny Whatling, 31, of Harleston, Norfolk, lost her son Jude in May 2018 and raised £9,000 towards the suite.

She said being around parents about to take their babies home was “awful”.

Mrs Whatling was kept in the main delivery suite with Jude, and said it was “comforting” to know families would now have the space they needed.

She visited the new suite with her three-month-old daughter Grace for the opening.

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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

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Other members of the family can also join the parents in a separate seating area and kitchenette adjacent to the delivery room

It is located close to the delivery ward to aid on-going care from midwifery staff.

It has its own entrance and includes a room with a double bed and bathroom, providing the opportunity to have baby by the bedside.

Mrs Whatling said the opening was “bittersweet”.

“Every single time I would choose to have Jude here,” she said.

“But to know he’s had an impact on the world feels quite special.”

Kari Kordtomeikel, the hospital bereavement midwife, said: “When baby loss occurs the impact is devastating for women, their partners and the wider family, including grandparents.

“A designated room is needed so that when a mother loses a baby either suddenly at birth, or is having an induction of labour due to the baby dying in the womb, we can provide a room.

“Many parents wish to stay with their baby for some time using cuddle cots which cool the baby, and allow other members of the family to meet the baby in a quiet and private space.”

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