Local families and couples joined staff from the specialist Rainbow Clinic at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to celebrate its first birthday and say thank you for the support and specialist care given to them after the sad loss of a baby due to late miscarriage, stillbirth or early neonatal death.
The need for the clinic became evident as members of the bereavement midwifery team cared for parents after they had sadly lost a baby and in conversations with them during subsequent pregnancy. Parents often spoke about how challenging it was to be pregnant again after losing a baby, saying that it was difficult not to be consumed by anxiety and fear as the pregnancy progressed.
The clinic is managed by a multi-disciplinary team which includes consultant obstetrician Jane Siddall, fetal medicine associate and specialist Suruchi Arora, and rainbow specialist midwife Juliette Ward, who between them look after women in their pregnancies from booking through to delivery.
Opening the first birthday party and welcoming all the families, babies and their older siblings, Rainbow specialist midwife Juliette Ward said: “During its first year, the clinic has supported 47 rainbow babies! It’s a real privilege to be part of your family’s journeys. It’s been wonderful to meet with you all regularly over this last year and we are delighted that the clinic is providing much needed care and support, to make pregnancies after the loss of a baby that little bit easier.”
Jane Siddall echoed Juliet’s words and said: “Thank you so much for joining us to celebrate this special occasion. Babies as you all know don’t come with instruction manuals and each and everyone one of them is very precious and unique. This clinic is also very unique being the first one outside Manchester offering families this specialist care and support and I want to thank everyone who has received care through the clinic to allow us to be part of your journey and story.”
Parents Matthew and Nicola Pulford said: “We lost our daughter, Emilia in October 2017 and were soon pregnant again knowing we wanted so desperately to grow our family. The care, compassion and love that Juliette, Jane and Suruchi gave us a family provided us with hope that the pregnancy was going to be ok. Sophia was bought into this world just under a year from when Emilia was still born. We can’t thank Juliette and her team enough for their support, love and care during our rainbow pregnancy. Not all super heroes wear capes.”
Mother Anuja Chaudhari said: “I feel lucky and proud to be cared and looked after by this team, without whom I wouldn’t have been in this position where I am today because of the incredible support by Juliette, Jane and Suruchi, I was able to sail through my next pregnancy. There are some things in life for which you are forever indebted to someone and we are forever grateful to the Rainbow Clinic.”
Suruchi Arora said: “The Rainbow Clinic is the most fulfilling and rewarding part of my job. I love supporting couples and families through their difficult journeys and hoping that whatever I say and do can provide the right support they need in difficult times and through pregnancy after the loss of a baby.”