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Butterflies and balloons event to remember short lives

Balloons in Committee Room, Bedford Hospital

Balloons in Committee Room, Bedford Hospital

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A special event to remember babies who are no longer with us has been arranged by Bedford Hospital staff.

A tag for each precious memory.

A tag for each precious memory.

The annual Butterflies and Balloons event, which was launched last year, provides parents and their families the opportunity to remember their babies who were born asleep or passed away shortly after birth.

The ceremony will begin in the Committee Room at South Wing, with readings, poems and music chosen by parents.

Then, guests will move to the Cygnet Wing, where parents can remember their babies by planting a daffodil bulb and releasing a balloon with a personal message.

The Butterflies and Balloons event was thought up in 2014 by a small, dedicated team of midwives at the hospital called the Butterfly Team, who are there to support new parents through bereavement.

Head of Midwifery at Bedford Hospital Naomi Gallagher said: “Sadly, on occasions, the outcome of a pregnancy brings deep sadness and loss. Meeting these babies and supporting their parents is a great privilege and a poignant part of our role.

“We know that despite leaving us with empty arms, parents will always hold closely the memories of their baby. The short but precious time they have with them remains imprinted on their hearts for a lifetime.

“We wanted to recognise the importance of acknowledging the existence of these special children and to remind people that parenthood is not defined by the number of children you can see.”

She added: “We hope that our Butterflies and Balloons event will create a special opportunity for those affected in this way to come together and acknowledge the birth of their baby.”

The event takes place on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2pm and is open to all parents and loved ones. There is no need to register beforehand. For further information please contact Sam Hunt at samantha.hunt@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk