Northern Star bereavement suite offers ‘guiding light’ to parents after pregnancy loss

A new bereavement suite for parents who have suffered an early pregnancy loss has opened today in the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The Northern Star suite is hoped to provide parents who have suffered miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy with a peaceful and private space.

The name represents the Northern Star as a guiding light.

Located within the maternity department, the suite includes a bedroom and shower facilities.

Chief midwife Jacquie Whitaker said: “This has been a project that has meant a lot to all of us.

” We wanted to be able to provide an appropriate space for families and have worked collaboratively with Sands, the UK’s leading baby loss charity, and the estates team to ensure that we have somewhere that is peaceful and distanced away from the main maternity ward.

“It was also important that we made it look more homely than a clinical room and we worked with the architects to use colour and natural materials as well as sourcing soft furnishings that give the room a less clinical feel.

“I am really pleased that we have been supported by the board and estates team to make this a reality.”

Another important feature of the new suite is the separate entrance and exit, which means that bereaved families do not have to use the main door into the maternity department.

Ms Whitaker said: “Before Northern Star was commissioned, families used the main entrance to the maternity department.

“The room used was right by the entrance door and could often be noisy, especially when there was a lot of activity in the department.

“Now we have a separate entrance that affords peace and privacy.”

Marie Manson, chairwoman at Shetland Sands said the charity was “delighted” to see the suite’s opening.

“This will give grieving parents the privacy and quiet space they need,” she added.

“We have been really happy to be involved with this project and hope to continue to provide support and any materials required for the suite, these items will be purchased using funds donated by the members of the public in Shetland and further afield.”

Chief executive Brian Chittick said: “As a board, it was so important that we supported this project to acknowledge the journey that some parents have to take following early pregnancy loss.

“The team wanted to provide a compassionate and caring environment for families and we are all so proud of their efforts and the establishment of the Northern Star suite.”


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