Baby lossView all services
|Sadly, sometimes pregnancy can go wrong. You may have a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, birth trauma or the death of the baby. If your pregnancy ends in this way, you will need both information and support. Talk to the people close to you about how you feel, and to your midwife, doctor or health visitor about what's happened and why.|
Liverpool Women's Hospital supports families during the difficult time following a miscarriage or loss of your baby. Their Honeysuckle Bereavement Service provides advice and information to guide you through.
Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone outside your family and friends. There are lots of organisations offering information and support, including The Lullaby Trust, Bliss , Miscarriage Association and The Birth Trauma Association.
This is when a fertilised egg implants outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube. The fertilised egg can't develop properly, and your health may be at serious risk if the pregnancy continues. The egg must be removed – this can be through an operation or using medicines.
The warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy can start soon after a missed period, but occasionally there are no noticeable symptoms.
Find out more about ectopic pregnancy, including symptoms, treatments, and help and support afterwards.
A miscarriage is when a pregnancy is lost before 24 weeks. They are very common.
Many early miscarriages (before 12 weeks) happen because there is something wrong with the baby. A later miscarriage may be due to an infection, problems in the placenta, or the cervix being weak and opening too early in the pregnancy.
A miscarriage can start like a period, with spotting or bleeding.
Find out more about miscarriage, including symptoms, treatment options, your care and coping afterwards.
In some pregnancies, screening tests may find a serious health condition in the baby. You will probably be very shocked when you are first told and will need to take time to think things through. In this situation, some couples decide to terminate the pregnancy.
Read about termination for foetal anomaly, what is involved, and where you can get help and support.
Sometimes labour or birth can be traumatic and cause PTSD. This may be because of a painful birth or unplanned or emergency treatment.
You may be angry that your birth did not go how you expected and it may make you anxious about having another baby in future.
A stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy. It happens in around 1 in every 200 births in England.
If the baby dies before 24 completed weeks, it's known as a miscarriage or late foetal loss.
Contact your midwife or doctor straightaway if you're pregnant and worried about your baby – for example, if you've noticed your baby moving less than usual. Don't wait until the next day. If your baby is moving less, it can be a sign that something's wrong and needs to be checked out.
Causes of stillbirth
Some stillbirths are linked to complications with the placenta, a birth defect or with the mother's health. For others, no cause is found.
Read more about causes of stillbirth.
When a baby dies before they're born
If your baby has died, you may be able to wait for labour to start naturally or your labour may be induced. If your health is at risk, the baby may need to be delivered as soon as possible. It's rare for a stillborn baby to be delivered by caesarean section.
Read more about what to expect if your baby dies before birth.
After a stillbirth
After a stillbirth, decisions about what to do are very personal. There's no right or wrong way to respond.
A specialist midwife will talk with you about what you want to do – for example, holding the baby or taking photographs. They can also discuss the tests you may be offered to find out why your baby died and give you information about registering the birth.
Read more about what happens after a stillbirth, including information about baby-loss support groups.
Not all stillbirths can be prevented, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, such as:
- not smoking
- avoiding alcohol and drugs during pregnancy – these can seriously affect your baby's development, and increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
- not going to sleep on your back after 28 weeks – don't worry if you wake up on your back, just turn onto your side before you go back to sleep
- attending all your antenatal appointments so that midwives can monitor the growth and wellbeing of your baby
- taking folic acid before pregnancy and having a flu vaccine during your pregnancy
- limiting the amount of caffeine you consume during pregnancy
The Honeysuckle Team are the dedicated baby bereavement team at Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust.
The Honeysuckle Team provide care for women and their families at Liverpool Women’s Hospital following pregnancy loss at any gestation and early neonatal death.
The team consists of 2 bereavement support midwives, Marie Kelleher and Pauline McBurnie, and bereavement support officer, Sarah Martin.
The Team’s office is open Monday – Friday 8am-4pm, you are welcome to contact them either by phone 0151 702 4151 or email email@example.com
For more information about the team please visit Patient Information Leaflets section:
Monthly Support Group
The Honeysuckle Team’s specialist bereavement midwives run a monthly support group.
Group sessions take place in a calm, welcoming environment with refreshments, crafts and a listening ear for anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly, stillbirth and early neonatal death.
Watch a short video about our monthly support group here:
The meetings are for adults only, due to the sensitive nature of the group children cannot attend.
Upcoming support group sessions:
- Wednesday 5th April 2023 6.00pm – 8.00pm, The Brain Charity, Norton Street, Liverpool, L3 8LR
Please contact The Honeysuckle Team to book a place 0151 702 4151 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Counselling Services
The Honeysuckle Team have strong links with 2 local counselling services who provide support to men, women and children. If you would like to discuss counselling please do not hesitate to contact The Honeysuckle Team.
Liverpool Bereavement Services - https://liverpoolbereavement.com/baby-and-child-loss/
Love Jasmine - https://www.lovejasmine.org.uk/
Mersey Care's Maternal Mental Health Service supports people to access treatment and care if they’ve experienced loss, distress or trauma during pregnancy and birth.
We are service that is made up of therapists, psychologists, assistant psychologists, specialist midwives and peer support workers. Their role is to identify distress that has come from your maternity, neonatal or reproductive journey. They work to support you as you work through trauma, loss and fear around pregnancy and the maternity setting for those experiencing moderate to severe mental health.
This service is available to women and birthing people who live in Cheshire, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Warrington and Wirral and who have experienced distress, loss or trauma during pregnancy and birth.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you experienced this distress, loss or trauma – you can still access the service.
This service offers psychological therapy and support for areas such as:
- Birth trauma
- Extreme fear of childbirth
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
- Loss in neonatal setting or neonatal period
- Loss of a baby to social care in the maternity setting following birth.
They can offer a choice of interventions for these difficulties, and work really closely with other services to make sure you can receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The dedicated specialist perinatal midwives work to support the reduction of distress and to improve your wellbeing in pregnancy.
You can be referred to this service by any healthcare professional such as midwives, health visitors, GPs, social workers, therapists or counsellors.
Many of your appointments will be virtual, using video technology, or on the phone. Face to face appointments can be offered where this feels safe and appropriate.
Aching Arms - support when you’ve experienced the heartbreak of losing your baby, during pregnancy, at birth or soon after. https://www.achingarms.co.uk/
Antenatal Results Choices (ARC) - for women and families who have to make a decision about continuing or ending your pregnancy after been told your baby has a fetal anomaly https://www.arc-uk.org/for-parents/
Child Bereavement UK - helps children, parents and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a baby or child dies When your baby dies | Child Bereavement UK
Children of Jannah - Aimed at supporting bereaved parents who are of the Muslim faith, who have been affected by the tragic loss of a child https://www.childrenofjannah.com/
Dads Still Standing – a place for dads who have suffered baby loss to find support https://www.dadstillstanding.com/
Ectopic Pregnancy Trust - provides information, education and support to those affected by ectopic pregnancy. https://ectopic.org.uk/
Miscarriage Association - supporting women, their partners, families, friends and colleagues affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
SANDS - the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby. Sands Bereavement Support App | Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity
SPACE - Liverpool based online network that offers peer support to women who have experienced miscarriage of infertility – either recently, or at any time in the past https://www.thereisspaceforyouhere.com/
The Worst Girl Gang Ever – a support platform and podcast for miscarriage and baby loss https://www.theworstgirlgangever.co.uk/
The Miscarriage Association: this includes support for those who have suffered molar pregnancies and ectopic pregnancies www.miscarriageassosciation.org.uk
Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Charity ( SANDs ) www.sands.org.uk
Twin And Multiple Birth Association ( TAMBA ) www.tamba.org.uk
Twins Trust - supports all parents and carers of twins, triplets or more who have died whether it was during or after pregnancy https://twinstrust.org/bereavement.html