A new bereavement suite and memory-making room for the parents of stillborn babies has opened at the University Hospital Wales in Cardiff.
The Snow Drop Suite, situated in the hospital’s maternity unit, was kindly funded by Cardiff and Newport SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. The room was designed to give parents a peaceful, private space in which to spend precious time with their baby before saying a final goodbye.
The suite has been equipped with a cold cot, comfortable furniture, a kitchen area and it has been tastefully decorated with peace and calm in mind. It also provides a pull out bed for partners to stay
With additional support from Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, the addition of a memory-making area has also been created. Located in a separate private area, directly opposite the Snow Drop Suite parents can be supported to make memories such as dressing their babies and take precious fingerprints. Parents can place their baby in specially knitted angel cribs or cots and swaddle them with beautiful hand-knitted blankets, lovingly made by a team of volunteers. All of these items are provided from kind donations to the unit, from charities such as SANDS and 4Louis.
Ruth Walker, Executive Nurse Director at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, who recently visited the room said: “The Snow Drop Suite is a much-needed addition to the services we provide. It will give families precious time together to spend with their baby before saying goodbye.
“We are extremely grateful to SANDS, our own Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and their support and for those donations that have helped to make these rooms possible.
“We listened to what our bereaved parents have told us about their experiences of losing a baby, and with their help – at one of the most difficult times in their lives, we have made improvements to the services we offer and we now have this beautiful room.
“We hope the separate suite with facilities for parents, both during labour and afterwards, will go some way to helping parents and families at such a devastating time.”
SANDS Welsh Co-ordinator Heather-jane Coombs said: “These rooms are a wonderful addition to the Teardrop Suite, giving so much support to families at such a difficult time.
“None of the three rooms we have furnished would be possible without the support of our fundraisers and the hospital giving us the spaces to transform, we thank all those involved in making a difference.”