The Perinatal Service helps families whose precious baby may have been given an uncertain or life-limiting diagnosis. This can leave families with feelings of anxiety and fear, and the need for some extra support.
Currently we support a number of hospitals across the North West in ensuring that families are given support and guidance in a time they so desperately need it. The perinatal team will attend meetings within the hospitals to discuss potential referrals and gain as much information needed.
Referrals often start when a mum is pregnant and she has found out there is sadly something wrong with her baby. However, that is not always the case and sometimes things go wrong during or after birth when conditions haven’t been picked up on during pregnancy.
Sometimes, our support includes a shoulder to cry on but mostly it’s someone to give them informed choices about their baby who has a high probability of dying. These informed choices include preferred place of care, whether they want their baby to be resuscitated if they became unwell and funeral preferences.
The perinatal team work closely with family support offering joint antenatal visits to ensure they are given all the relevant information they may need. They will attend antenatal appointments and scans with families if requested and also meetings held by neonatal consultants to act as an advocate for families. The teams will also work closely together with the bereavement midwives within the hospitals when sadly a mum loses her baby before it is born.
The perinatal team also ensure that they hold sound professional relationships with doctors and nurses across antenatal and midwifery units as well as the neonatal units in ensuring there is a smooth transition to which ever destination the family choose for their baby. This can include remaining on the neonatal unit, coming to the hospice (including the use of the sunflower room) or going home where they will have access to specialist palliative and end of life care nurses and 24/7 on call services.
We now offer respite at home to families. This enables families to have the much needed rest, they can do everyday things such as going for a rest or nipping to the shop. We will spend time with the baby at home, completing play activities with them and meeting their individual needs.