‘Rainbow Clinic’ helping parents after baby loss and miscarriage

Communications TeamNews

Parents who have experienced the agony of losing a baby are being supported by a special pregnancy service in Hull.

The Rainbow Clinic has been set up at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital to support families whose children have died during previous pregnancies or shortly after they were born.

Since the service officially launched its Rainbow Clinic in January, 81 families have been supported by the Rainbow Clinic and 20 babies have been born.

Midwife Ainsley Belton said: “Pregnancy after loss can be a very anxious and difficult time because these people have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare.

“The service offers additional antenatal checks and emotional wellbeing assessment so they don’t have to tell their stories over and over again to different members of staff.

“Often, we have met them during their time of their bereavement so we know their history and we are here to give them all the information and emotional support that they need.”

The Rainbow Clinic is run by Hull’s Bereavement Midwifery Team, led by Ainsley and supported by midwife Jenna Cadden and Bereavement Support Worker Samantha Catanach. Samantha founded the Chasing Rainbows charity to support people experiencing infertility, recurrent miscarriages and baby loss after she experienced her own losses.

The midwives support families who have experienced three or more consecutive miscarriages, the interruption of pregnancy for a fetal anomaly or a medical problem, a miscarriage from 14 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, stillbirth or the death of their baby within three months of birth.

The clinics, led by Ainsley and Jenna, run on Thursday afternoons and Friday afternoons for those who have experienced previous losses from early in their pregnancies as part of a multi-disciplinary approach.

Ainsley said: “We make contact with them early on and can offer them face-to-face appointments and telephone conversations if they’ve got any worries or concerns.”

Women and parents-to-be using the service receive a special Rainbow Clinic pack, giving them additional information about reduced fetal movements. Any woman who has experienced the loss of a baby is entitled to a lanyard to wear to their appointments during a subsequent pregnancy, which can be obtained from the Chasing Rainbows charity website, and can receive a plaque to put on the outside of the door any time they’re admitted to hospital so staff are aware of what they’ve already been through.

“We see them regularly throughout their pregnancy and can be there with them if they have elective caesarean sections and we also see them after their babies are born,” Ainsley says. “Since the clinic started in January, we’ve had 81 families with us and 20 babies have been born so far. We’ve had great feedback and we hope we’re making a difference.”