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Suffolk Parents Back Petals Charity Raising Awareness Of Baby Loss In The UK

Couple Continue To Call For National Improvements In Maternity Care


The parents of a baby who died just half-an-hour after birth at Ipswich Hospital in September 2015 are speaking out to support the work of the Petals charity, which is raising awareness of the need for psychological care for parents who suffer emotional distress in pregnancy and birth.


Emma and James Strachan have also continued to call for a review of the way in which breech deliveries are carried out after the coroner who investigated the death of their daughter, Bonnie Strachan, informed the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ROCG) of his concerns. 


The coroner’s concerns are expected to form part of the review of national guidelines being published early next year.


The Petals charity based in Cambridge is currently supporting Baby loss Awareness Week (9 – 15 October) and is continuing its work to fund specialist counselling service for parents affected by the loss of a baby.


The charity, which helped Emma and James, is hoping to establish a permanent Petals Counsellor at Ipswich Hospital to offer support to parents.


Guy Forster, a Partner in the expert medical negligence team at Irwin Mitchell, who represented Emma and James at the inquest, said:


Expert Opinion
“The work of Petals charity has proven to be crucial for many of our clients who have tragically suffered the loss of a child during pregnancy and birth.

“In recent years there has been a great deal of good work to raise the issue of baby loss which affects so many people but has tended not to be discussed openly.

“It is so important to support the work of organisations like Petals to break this taboo and ensure that we do as much as possible to prevent these tragedies wherever possible but also ensure that, when families are affected, they have access to the very best specialist support available.”
Guy Forster, Partner


Emma said: “The work Petals does is invaluable to people like myself and James who found ourselves in a situation we never expected or prepared for.


“Losing Bonnie caused us the most unimaginable heartache. It is something that we will never truly get over and we will always feel that a part of our family is missing. 


“Nevertheless the support of Petals has been extraordinary. Karen helped us to process our loss and ease the pain and we hope that other families can benefit as we have.


“We are supporting Petals and Baby Loss Awareness Week in the hope awareness will be raised about this issue, that families affected can access the help they need and also that everything possible is done to improve services and prevent other families going through what we have.”


Karen Burgess, Chief Executive at Petals, said:  “Every day at Petals, our counsellors are hearing heart-breaking stories from parents whose lives have been devastated by the death of a baby – they feel isolated by this as family and friends struggle to know how to help them or know what to say. 


“We need to break the silence and talk about these painful experiences and help parents to get the support they need to rebuild their lives”


Petals has launched a video featuring Emma and other parents who have suffered the loss of a baby to raise awareness of the issue, which can be viewed here.

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