A clinic set up at Royal Preston Hospital’s Sharoe Green Maternity Unit is helping pregnant women who have suffered loss in a previous pregnancy.
The Rainbow Clinic was set up with the aim of providing antenatal care to women who have suffered a late miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death previously. The clinic, which is open every Friday morning, is a safe space where these women can meet others who have had similar experiences.
The Rainbow Clinic has been introduced in other maternity units as it has been shown that women who have experienced loss benefit when receiving specialised care from a dedicated team. The care provided improves the personalisation and continuity of care and optimises the experience of women who have experienced loss.
Jane Boscolo-Ryan, Specialist Midwife at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Often, when women have suffered huge loss such as stillbirth, neonatal death and miscarriage, they can find their next pregnancy extremely difficult and may experience anxiety-related health issues.
Baby Loss Awareness Week took place last month, and we want to spread the word about our Rainbow Clinic to women in our region, to reassure them that we have a specialist service for them that will help them through their next pregnancy without forgetting what they have been through and how that might still affect them. The term ‘Rainbow Baby’ refers to a healthy baby born after losing a baby, symbolising hope after a dark time.”
The team comprises of an obstetric consultant lead, who specialises in fetal medicine, along with a midwife sonographer, two specialist bereavement midwives, a sonographer and administrative support. Together the team provides woman-centred care and specialised counselling services alongside intensive obstetric ultrasound monitoring.
Janet Cotton, Head of Midwifery at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We are really proud to offer this service, as it’s one we believe that is vital for the reassurance and peace of mind of our mums-to-be. The clinic is a safe, positive space for women and staff to interact, receive care and establish relationships, and we encourage any pregnant woman who has experienced loss to attend the Rainbow Clinic”.
The feedback from women attending the Rainbow Clinic has been overwhelmingly positive to date. The team have welcomed many ‘Rainbow Babies’ to the world. Here are a few of the comments that mothers have made in relation to their care in the Rainbow Clinic:
“I couldn’t have coped in this pregnancy without the Rainbow team.”
“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for helping me feel safe throughout my pregnancy. You are truly super heroes, and this amazing clinic made me see there is a Rainbow at the end of the darkness.”
“Thank you for everything. We wouldn’t have made it through his pregnancy without your support. It would have been so much more stressful without our visits to the Rainbow Clinic.”
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciated your kindness, patience and understanding in our time with you. You are such as special team and a huge credit to the NHS. Thank you for playing such a huge part in completing our family.”