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Memory making

Aim to ensure that the family, including siblings, have the opportunity and time to make choices about creating memories.

Families tell us that if they have already experienced family integrated care, this helps them continue to parent through end of life care. They also say being able to make lifelong memories before and/or after the loss of their baby, to touch and to parent them, helps them adjust to their loss.

What do we need to do?

  • Introduce memory making as soon as possible and share examples of what you can offer. This can happen from the point when it is known a baby may die and any item used in the baby’s care has the potential to be part of memory making.
  • Give the family time to reflect and decide what they want and let them know they can change their mind at any time.
  • When the baby has died, offer the family the opportunity to hold them, if they are not already doing so.
  • Discuss with the family:
    • washing and dressing their baby
    • photographs
    • hand and footprints
    • memory box
    • other memories and mementos.
  • Complete the informed choice form to ensure the family are provided with options but do not feel pressured. Creating memories – offering choices, a template form, is available.

How will we know we have achieved our aim?

Families will tell us they felt they were offered the opportunity to make memories, did not feel rushed and knew they could revisit decisions.

Staff will say they feel confident and competent discussing options for making memories and supporting families as they take time and decide what they want to do.

Go to After the death

The nurse made clay imprints of his feet and took hand and footprints when he was still alive. I later got these made into a necklace which I treasure. The memories last a lifetime.
I sang a lullaby to him and cradled him in the room. It felt strange but natural at the same time. I wish I had been told to take more pictures or videos. The ones I have are so precious.
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