New bereavement midwife appointed to support families
A new Bereavement Midwife role has been created at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to support families who experience baby loss.
Earlier in the year, the hospital signed up to the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) for pregnancy and baby loss backed by Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity). This pioneering project aims to improve the overall quality of bereavement care for parents and families whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth.
The new role has been taken up by Kari Kordtomeikel who works across gynaecology, midwifery services and also links with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to support women and families who have experienced baby loss. The bereavement pathway also includes miscarriage, termination for fetal abnormalities and baby loss up to first year of life.
Kari says: “Thankfully baby loss doesn’t happen that often, but when it does occur the effects are devastating for women, their partners and the wider family, including grandparents. Providing the right support from the beginning can be crucial to how women and their families cope with the situation. It is also important that women have the right support if they experience another pregnancy as they are usually extremely anxious and coming back to hospital again can be a daunting prospect.”
The bereavement midwife will co-ordinate care for women and guide families through the formalities which need to be completed, including making visits to patients’ homes. She will also train other staff to provide sensitive, parent-centred care, being a source of information on best practice. The new post will also strengthen ties with charities such as SANDS.