In this Grief School panel discussion, we invite a panel of experts and those who’ve experienced stillbirth to discuss their experiences of grief, their research and the support that’s available for parents of stillborn babies.
Fourteen babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. The loss of a baby can have profound effects on parents and their families in the short and long term. It can also have a significant negative impact on subsequent pregnancies.
We welcome guests including Kaeti Morrison and Peter Byrom, both bereaved parents, who will talk about their experiences of stillbirth and offer parental perspectives on grief. They also discuss the similarities and differences in the grief experienced between partners and their journey through grief. Kaeti and Peter both work with Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity founded in 1978.
We also meet Natalie le Grange and Mary Lynch. Natalie is a primary school teacher from North Somerset and a committee member for Bristol Sands. Natalie has been a part of Sands’ supportive family for almost three years now, since the devastating loss of her baby girl, Aurora.
Mary is a clinical midwife on a labour ward and a research midwife at North Bristol NHS trust. Her interest is in bereavement care and in supporting families who have lost their babies. She has been involved in The Parents Study, investigating parents’ views and involvement in medical reviews following their baby’s death. Mary has been supporting the research team in workshops, conferences and ongoing research projects related to baby loss.
Dr Danya Bakhbakhi joins us. Her research aims to improve care and decision-making for parents who experience stillbirth, to help improve care after stillbirth and neonatal death. Danya is also joined by Dr Christy Burden, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics at the University of Bristol.
The panel is facilitated by festival founder, Dr Lucy Selman, who herself had a stillborn daughter in 2018. Lucy co-leads the University of Bristol’s Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group.