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Memory making

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

Families tell us that being able to make memories helps them adjust to the loss of their babies.

What do we need to do?

  • Offer parents the opportunity to see and hold their baby. Offer to describe the baby’s appearance.
  • Give parents time to reflect and decide what they want and let parents know they can change their mind.
  • Complete the informed choice form to ensure parents are provided with options but do not feel pressured - a template form Creating memories – offering choices is available.
  • Consider the condition of the baby when offering memory making options.
  • Discuss with parents:
    • washing and dressing the baby
    • photographs
    • hand and footprints
    • memory box
    • other mementos and memories.

How will we know we have achieved our aim?

All families will tell us they felt supported to make memories, did not feel rushed and knew they could revisit decisions.

All 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

My only regret was I never got to see her feet. Her skin had deteriorated – her feet were wrapped in cling film. I was never offered to wash and reclothe her.
The family room should be your privilege to help families to make memories. All these families leaving with their child, they have the chance over a lifetime to make memories. Midwives can’t shy away from supporting families facing bereavement.
There may be quite a few women out there in my situation. I didn’t have any photos. I didn’t get to hold the baby. She was taken away. I got a call, 10 days later. I had nightmares about where she was and what had happened to her.
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