South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH), Clonmel
Over the last two years there has been vast developments within Maternity Services in South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH). There is now a Specialist Ultrasonographer who offers every single woman that attends the hospital a detailed Anomaly Scan between 20-22 weeks gestation. Furthermore, the appointment of a Lactation Consultant has contributed to the improved journey of the women and families attending STGH offering breastfeeding support.
However, for most families pregnancy and the birth of a baby is a time of hope and excitement, joy and wonder. And while the majority of pregnancies start out this way, not all end so happily. Some families will be faced with the grim reality of a stillbirth or infant death soon after birth.
Therefore in conjunction with the newly appointed Bereavement Midwife Specialist and the Clinical Midwife Facilitator, the Maternity services held its inaugural Bereavement Care Study day for Midwifery, Nursing and Obstetric staff. Building on the already established bereavement care offered within the hospital. The day was about learning and supporting staff in providing the most appropriate care possible at such a vulnerable time in the lives of women and their families.
STGH were also extremely thankful to Féileacáin (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland, CHY – 19635) who came and spoke on the day. This voluntary non- profit organisation was formed by a group of bereaved parents who supported each other after the death of their own babies and have now come together to formally offer support to other parents and families who find themselves in a similar situation. STGH Maternity services are exceptionally grateful for the donation of a cuddle cot fromFéileacáin, which will be offered to parents of a stillborn who wish to bring their baby home to spend that extra precious time with them
Sinead Heaney, Director of Midwifery, said “There is no doubt that South Tipperary General Hospital are continuing to strive to introduce new ways of working that should improve the safety of care provided to mothers and babies. This applies to all mothers and babies that are born in our hospital. We want to build on ideas that will be tailored to the local needs of women and families within this region. Féileacáin are a huge resource to not only bereaved parents but all maternity units within Ireland.”