Mum whose baby was stillborn makes a difference for other bereaved parents

A Scottish woman whose baby daughter was stillborn 30 weeks into her pregnancy has been successful in her campaign to have the bereavement room at her local hospital soundproofed.

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After losing Hayden in 2014, 27-year-old Kayleigh Fulton began raising money for Ayrshire Sands and campaigning for the change at Kilmarnock Maternity at Crosshouse Hospital.

Kayleigh spent six days in the hospital with Hayden in a cold cot but found it extremely difficult to hear babies crying, due to the location of the bereavement room on the maternity ward.

Thanks to her tireless campaigning, NHS bosses are to discuss plans to soundproof the room at Kilmarnock Maternity and create a separate entrance for bereaved parents.

The funds raised by Kayleigh and her family have also paid for 200 nurses and doctors to receive training on how to deal with bereaved parents, as well as three “cuddle cots” to allow parents to spend time with their babies in their own homes.

Not all U.K. maternity units have bereavement rooms and, in those that do, there’s little to differentiate it from a regular room on the ward. Some hospitals, such as The Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough, near London, have specialist bereavement midwifes and memory boxes for photos, hand and footprints and a lock of hair.

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Barnsley Birthing Centre, which opened in May 2014, has a dedicated room for bereaved parents called the Rainbow Room, which is located away from the birthing rooms and has a soundproof door and walls to give the family much-needed privacy.

Another couple who pledged to help other bereaved parents were Michelle and Richard Daniels, who set up a charity, Forever Stars, after their daughter Emily was stillborn. In 2015 they raised an incredible £100,000 to build a state-of-the-art bereavement suite, complete with soundproofed rooms, at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

It’s wonderful that bereaved parents like Kayleigh Fulton and Michelle and Richard Daniels have worked so hard to raise money to make the lives of other bereaved parents just a little easier during a heartbreaking time. But shouldn’t every NHS hospital have a soundproofed bereavement room? At such a difficult time hearing the cries of newborn babies and the chatter of happy families has to be agonising.

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