Sensitive Disposal Arrangements for Pregnancy Remains

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-703/2022
  • Departments: Gynaecology
  • Last Updated: 31 May 2022


This leaflet to ensure you are aware of the options available to you for the sensitive disposal of your pregnancy remains.

We are so sorry for your loss and recognise this must be an extremely difficult time for you. The purpose of this leaflet is to provide you with the choices available with regard to a burial or cremation following your pregnancy loss. This sadly maybe as a result of:

  • A miscarriage – when a pregnancy ends unexpectedly up to 15 weeks and 6 days.
  • It may be that you have had to make a difficult decision to end your pregnancy.

We understand how extremely upsetting this time is for women, their partners and their families and we hope that this guidance will inform you of the choices that are available you.

During the time that you are in the hospital you will be asked to confirm wishes for the sensitive disposal of your pregnancy remains and your wishes will be documented by the nurse or doctor on a consent form.

What is a shared cremation?

The hospital can arrange for a cremation which is shared with other pregnancy remains born under 24 weeks. This is officiated by a hospital chaplain.  In these cases, the cremation is authorised by the hospital, following your decision and consent. Your pregnancy remains stay at the hospital in a safe and secure place until the next available service. The services are usually the first Wednesday of every month.

Details of the mother remain confidential and are not provided to the crematorium. The cremation is recorded by a reference number, to enable any future enquiries. The cremation takes place at the Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium in Hull. All of the information for the date and time of the cremation will be provided to you in a leaflet at the time that you consent to your preferred choice.

Following the cremation there are no individual ashes, the joint ashes are scattered or buried in the Baby Cemetery at the Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium.  It is possible to attend the joint scattering of babies’ ashes when they are scattered which is usually a month after the cremation service.

Individual cremation or burial

You can organise a cremation yourself by contacting a funeral director of your choice or Hull Bereavement Services. You will require a medical certificate to authorise the cremation and confirm the pregnancy loss if under 24 weeks.  This is supplied by the hospital.

Your chosen funeral director will advise you further with regard to collection of pregnancy remains. The hospital is unable to contribute to the cost, however many funeral directors make a nominal charge or do not charge for their services in these situations. There may also be additional costs relating to the cremation – your chosen funeral director will be able to advise you on any necessary fees.

You can organise a burial, but you will need to obtain the service of a funeral director of your choice or contact Hull Bereavement services to assist you. You are required to produce a medical certificate to authorise the burial and confirm the pregnancy loss if your baby was under 24 weeks gestation. This will be provided by the hospital. The hospital is unable to contribute to the cost relating to burial; again, your chosen funeral director will be able to advise you on any necessary fees.

Private Burial at home/private land

If you wish, you can take your pregnancy remains home and arrange a burial on private land.  If you choose the option to arrange a private burial, there is important information for you to consider:

The involvement of a local funeral director is advised. You will need to take your pregnancy remains home in a suitable container as your pregnancy remains may lose fluid. Once home your pregnancy remains will need to be in a cool, well-ventilated room.

Please ensure family pets are kept away from your pregnancy remains.

For pregnancy remains under 24 weeks of pregnancy there is no legal requirement to involve the registrar or coroner with a home burial.

Your pregnancy remains must be in a sealed container with no risk of bodily fluid leaking into groundwater, surface water, water courses or adjoining land

The container must be buried to a depth of at least 18 inches (45cm)

Think carefully about how you will feel if you choose to move house. For this reason, you may choose to place your pregnancy remains in a large planter which can be moved.

Religious Support

In all cases, the nurses and staff at the hospital will ensure that your cultural and religious beliefs are respected. You may wish to contact a representative of your own religion for support, however the hospital does have a chaplaincy team who can provide support to you in hospital and at home. They can provide support for whichever service you choose. The contact details for the chaplaincy team are below.

Useful Information

  • The Pregnancy Advisory Service (PAS) Hull Women and Children’s Hospital (01482) 607843. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
  • Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) Hull Women and Children’s Hospital (01482) 608767. Open 7 days per week 8am to 5.30pm
  • Cedar Ward (ward 30) Hull Women and Children’s Hospital (01482) 604387
  • The Hospital Chaplains, Tel: (01482) 675966
  • Miscarriage Association, support for women who have suffered a miscarriage (01924) 200799
  • Hull Bereavement Services, Provides information to parents and support (01482) 300 300
  • Institute of Crematory and Crematorium Management 020 8989 4661
  • Arranging a Funeral, offer free expert advice on all matters of bereavement and arranging a funeral.

This leaflet was produced by the Gynaecology Department, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in May 2023

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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