Parents and families who suffer the loss of a baby will now have a dedicated space to go to grieve at Letterkenny University Hospital.
A new bereavement room was recently opened in the LUH Maternity Unit called the Butterfly Room, taking inspiration from Féileacáin, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland.
Kind donations have enhanced the quiet space, including a double bed donated in memory of Beth Hope by her parents Trish and Daniel Clifford and paintings provided by HSE Create A Link artists.
Director of Midwifery, Evelyn Smith explains the significance of the new development and said, “The Maternity Unit of Letterkenny University Hospital caters for approximately 1,700 births every year. While birth of a baby is in the main a very joyous experience for women and their families, sadly there are times when a baby dies before or shortly after birth.
“The death of a baby is an incredibly traumatic event leaving parents with overwhelming emotional needs and is one of the most painful experiences that any parent has to face. It signifies the loss of the future, of hopes and dreams and affects the entire extended family.
“We hope the room will offer some small comfort to families at this time of great loss.”
With advice from parents, the Butterfly room has been specially designed to be private, spacious and soundproof which will allow parents quiet time to spend with their baby and loved ones, while still getting support and assistance from staff.
Ms Smith added: “We received funding from the HSE and Féileacáin to make the development of this room possible and we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support for parents and staff from Féileacáin. In addition, a double bed was kindly donated in memory of Beth Hope by her parents Trish and Daniel Clifford and the HSE Create A Link artists provided paintings for the room and the stairwell.
“Finally I would like to acknowledge and thank the many parents for their donations to the Maternity Unit and the Neonatal Unit and all our staff involved.”