I have lost a baby or young child
Experiencing the death of a young child or losing a baby during pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face.
Such a loss is devastating.
You will not only be grieving for the loss of your child but also for the hopes and dreams you had for them and for your future life together.
What you will learn in this section:
How can I find support?
Leeds has a Bereavement Midwife who is trained to care for and support women and families who suffer the loss of a baby in pregnancy or the first week of life. She is responsible for offering emotional support, information and practical guidance to women who:
- Experience miscarriage from 14 weeks.
- Experience stillbirth or neonatal death (this means in the first week of life).
- Have an on-going pregnancy but the baby is expected to die.
- Choose to have a termination of pregnancy because of abnormalities.
- Have another pregnancy following the loss of a baby.
A Specialist Bereavement Midwife is someone who understands that the parents of a baby who has died will be faced with many difficult decisions and emotions. She can explain all the different options and choices at a time of great difficulty and sadness. This means that families have a dedicated person to contact whenever they have questions or requests, or simply want to talk.
You can find out more and self-refer by calling 07920029180. Find more information here
If you have lost a baby or child but you do not fit the criteria above, you can find more information about bereavement support for parents in Leeds Bereavement Forum Directory here. This includes local services, national helplines and useful websites.
Women (and their partners) who have experienced the loss of a baby through an Ectopic pregnancy can find information and support through The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.
If you need to talk to someone urgently about how you are feeling - you can find help here.
How can I take care of my wellbeing during this difficult time?
It may not seem a priority but looking after yourself during this difficult time is important. Download some self-care information with ways to take care of yourself while experiencing loss or bereavement.
Read a plain text version of 'Ways to take care of yourself during a bereavement'
What should I do if I need help quickly?
If you feel that you or someone else is in immediate danger, you should call 999 immediately.
If you've had previous contact with mental health services in Leeds - do you have a crisis plan with contact details? If you are unable to find the plan, you can call Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust's Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 300 1485. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can text 07983 323867. The SPA is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you've not had any previous contact with mental health services in Leeds and cannot wait for an urgent GP appointment: call NHS 111 (freephone, open 24 hours a day) - a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals, will ask you a series of questions and immediately direct you to the best service to support your needs.
How to find emotional support in Leeds
Connect is a telephone helpline for people living in Leeds. The service provides emotional support and information for people in distress. Trained volunteers provide compassionate, non-judgemental support and can give information about other services, if needed. You can also talk to Connect through instant chat.
Open 6pm-2am every night of the year.
Tel 0808 800 1212 (freephone)
Dial House is an out-of-hours Leeds service for people in times of crisis where visitors can relax and have an hour of one-to-one support from the team of crisis support workers. Visitors who are attending for the first time, can just turn up from 6pm. If you have been before you will need to ring 0113 2609328 or text 07922 249452 from 6pm on the night you want to request a visit (it's best to ring before 7.30pm if possible).
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 6pm-2am.
Well-Bean Hope in a Crisis Café is open to people in Leeds who are experiencing a crisis. The cafe can offer emotional one-to-one support for up to one hour, support in a safe social space as well as practical help. You can self-refer to this service - visitors should ring or text first on 07760 173 476 each time they would like to go to the cafe.
Open on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Bank Holiday evenings 6pm-12am.
Open on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 6pm-12am.
Open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6pm to 12am.
Leeds Bereavement Forum is a small charity which works to develop bereavement services in the city. If you have lost a baby or child, the Forum's directory can signpost you to the most appropriate local bereavement services. Tel: 0113 225 3975.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership grief and loss support service offers practical and emotional support and advice to anyone in Leeds experiencing any form of grief or loss. Tel: 0808 196 3833 (free phone). Open seven days a week (8am-8pm).
Elliot's Footprints was created by bereaved parents and has a website full of help, practical support and guidance for families facing the death of a child. This includes hospital processes, funerals, benefit support, dealing with statutory organisations and accessing specialist counselling support. Tel: 01484 411041.
Charlies Angels Centre offers different kinds of support for bereaved parents and families. The Centre offers free services for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age (ranging from miscarriage to adult children) and for any reason, including stillbirth and termination. Help is also available to families that are facing a prenatal diagnosis of fetal anomaly.
Strength after Stillbirth is a peer-led Facebook peer support group for healing and recovery after pregnancy loss/stillbirth. Support to grieve and/or try again.
Leeds Sands Stillbirth and neonatal death charity offers support to other parents and families whose baby has died either before, during, or shortly after birth. Support is free of charge and is open to all bereaved parents, their families and friends, no matter how long ago the loss occurred. General Support After Loss runs once a month plus additional activities throughout the year such as creating memory boxes. Sands also have a Bereavement Support App and Family Support pack. Tel: 0808 164 3332.
Hope Bereavement Service offers supportive and therapeutic groups and a counselling service for individuals and families. Hope specialises in support for all types of bereavement including child loss, stillbirth and miscarriage. Hope also offers emotional and mental health counselling as well as resilience workshops for mental health, emotional wellbeing and self-care. HOPE works to make sure there is culturally sensitive support and multilingual help available. Leeds and nationwide peer support groups available please check our website for info.
The Miscarriage Association offers support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy.
Angels And Stars offer a support service for families who have had a stillbirth. They provide one-to-one sessions or group support and holistic therapies, meditation, reiki, massage and counselling. Tel: 07858541620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy's is the UK's largest charity which funds research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. If you are planning a future pregnancy Tommy's: Mental health before, during and after pregnancy has helpful information for people who have experienced a previous pregnancy loss.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust gives information and support to women and their partners who have experienced the loss of a baby through an Ectopic pregnancy.
Forget me not child is a dedicated service just for families whose baby has been diagnosed with a life-shortening condition. So even before your baby is welcomed into the world, this service is here to support you if you discover there's a problem, and can provide emotional and practical support. Call on 01484 411040 or email care@forgetmenotchild.
Leeds Rainbow Clinic is a specialist clinic for families who've experienced a stillbirth or neonatal death and become pregnant again. The clinic means that families will see the same team at every appointment, and provides additional scans to detect complications early, as well as providing additional emotional support. If this applies to you, please ask your midwife to refer you.