Women offered ultrasound images by hospital staff after early miscarriages

Women who suffer miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy are to be offered ultrasound images of their babies.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust recently introduced special “Forget-Me-Not” memory boxes to help women cope with the loss of their child in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Now, the trust is introducing a new policy to ensure parents enduring the loss of their babies will be offered scan photographs.

Chief medical officer Kevin Phillips, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, said: “We understand and appreciate how difficult it is for parents to lose a child, regardless of when that occurs in a pregnancy.

“We are determined to offer compassionate care to every women and this new service is part of the work we are undertaking to support women miscarrying in the first few weeks.

“Some women will want to keep an image of their baby and, where that is possible and the image can be picked up by the sonographer on the ultrasound, we will be able to provide that service.

“We understand some women will not wish to have an image but we feel it is important to let women know we can now provide this service.”

The trust introduced the memory boxes last year to help parents who lose a child to miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.

While memory boxes were already provided for women losing babies in later stages of pregnancy or shortly after birth, staff nurse Hayley Ellenton came up with the idea of providing the boxes for women on Cedar Ward at the Woman and Children’s Hospital and in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit.

She set up a fund to buy and fill the box with items including a packet of forget-me-not flower seeds to plant in remembrance, a journal and candle, a bespoke pendant and a memorial certificate to mark the day the pregnancy was lost.