A new midwife has joined the maternity and gynaecology teams bringing with her a wealth of experience, compassion and support for women who lose their babies.
The death of a baby at whatever stage of pregnancy can be a devastating and life changing experience for women and their families.
Help is now on hand at Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals for those women whose pregnancies end in heartbreak. Nick Kerry is the first bereavement midwife to be appointed at NLaG.
Nick said: “I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to set up a new service for the Trust’s three hospitals. The loss of a baby is a devastating blow for women, shattering their hopes and dreams. My aim is to provide the vital compassion, care and information these families need.”
Nick, who has worked as a midwife for nearly eight years, decided to focus on providing bereavement support after her best friend experienced the loss of her baby. Nick said: “She was 36 weeks pregnant and her baby had stopped moving. She went to her local hospital, which wasn’t one of NLaG’s, was told the baby had died and was given tablets to take and sent home.
“She had to go back 48 hours later to be induced. There was no follow up call, no one checking she was okay.”
Nick stayed by her side while she was induced. She said: “My friend never gave up as she knew she had to get through this ordeal for her other children. After the birth she was put in a room on her own with her baby girl. The care she received giving birth was great but after her little girl was delivered not one member of staff gave her any support, no one talked to her about how to say her goodbyes, there were no opportunities offered for keepsakes or making memories. There was nothing.”
She said: “When a baby dies, whether still in the womb or after the birth, that mum is robbed of a lifetime of experiences, memories and keepsakes. My aim is simple; to make sure every woman receives the care and support she requires and to help provide a chance to make lasting memories.
“Women come into hospital and the one thing they have longed for and cherished has been taken away from them. I provide that immediate support and also follow them up once they have been discharged.”
But the care does not end there. “I am also on hand for those women who have subsequent pregnancies. “Having lost one or multiple babies, pregnancy can be a terrifying time. I will be with them every step of the way providing help and advice.”
Talking about why she joined the Trust, Nick said: “I was overwhelmed by the dedication of the midwifery and gynaecology teams who work here. I feel privileged to work alongside so many amazing compassionate and caring staff whose whole focus is on their patient. I am overjoyed to be here, especially as it is like joining one big family.”
Nick trained at Oxfordshire University where she completed her BSc in Midwifery before moving to South Yorkshire where she worked as a community and hospital-based midwife. She has also been instrumental in developing the national care pathway for women who experience a bereavement as a midwife advisor for the All Party Parliamentary Group for baby loss in Westminster. The guidelines are currently being piloted.
Nick added: “Whether it is a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or sudden infant death syndrome, losing a baby can have a lasting and devastating impact. I can never take that experience away but I can help them through such a traumatic experience.”
When not caring for patients and their families, Nick will be providing an education programme for doctors, midwives and students.
Picture caption: Nick Kerry with one of the special teddy bears which are donated to families.