The Rotunda realises the importance of helping and supporting parents around the time their baby dies. If this should happen to you, we have a team of staff available to help you and your family to get through such a difficult time in your lives. The bereavement support midwife, chaplain, bereavement social worker and staff involved in caring for you and your baby work very closely together.
We use the bereavement symbol, which was developed by the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme.
It lets staff know that the woman/family in the room has suffered a recent bereavement. On seeing the symbol staff are quiet and respectful and are prepared to meet people who are grieving.
The symbol is inspired by ancient Irish history and is non-denominational. The three stranded white spiral represents the interconnected cycle of life – birth, life and death. The white outer circle represents continuity, infinity and completion. Purple is associated with nobility, solemnity and spirituality.
Bereavement Support Midwife
The midwife spends a lot of time supporting bereaved families, listening to their concerns and wishes and liaising with other staff to help organise the funeral arrangements. She will provide you with information on the funeral options available and on a post mortem, if you are considering one. She will support you to visit the mortuary and to hold and spend time with your baby if you choose to do so. You will be offered some keepsakes of your baby including photographs, foot and hand prints and a lock of hair.
There is a lay Roman Catholic chaplain available Monday to Friday. The chaplain is available to people of all faiths and of no specific faith. Chaplains and ministers from the Church of Ireland, Methodist and the Presbyterian Churches visit the Rotunda regularly. We will contact ministers or chaplains of other faiths on request.
The chaplaincy service includes:
- meeting and supporting families once a serious or life-threatening problem has been confirmed;
- praying with and for patients;
- providing and saying blessings or prayers, when requested;
- providing a personalised prayer leaflet, a candle with your baby’s name and date of birth written on it, a personalised blessing certificate or a naming certificate.
- providing support to families whose pregnancy ends very early
- arranging the sacrament of Baptism in special circumstances;
- providing support to bereaved families; and
- attending and leading the removal service from the hospital mortuary chapel.
Bereavement Social Worker
The bereavement social worker meets most bereaved women during their hospital stay. If you have left hospital, the social worker will phone or write to you explaining the supports available. Initially she will offer you crisis counselling and then supportive contact and counselling in the weeks after the loss. Information on the various support groups for bereaved families will be given to you.
An appointment at the dedicated bereavement clinic in the Rotunda will be offered to you if your baby died after 16 weeks or if your baby had a post mortem. You will be seen by a senior doctor and the bereavement support midwife. If you had been attending the prenatal diagnosis clinic or a consultant privately, an appointment will be arranged for you to meet with them instead around eight weeks after your loss.
Annual Remembrance Service
You are invited to attend The Rotunda Hospital Annual Service of Remembrance to acknowledge babies who have died through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, neonatal death or fetal anomaly either recently or long ago. The Service will be held in Saint Saviour’s Church, Dominick Street, Dublin 1 on a Sunday in November each year @ 3.00 pm. Please contact the Hospital Chaplain to ascertain the date on each given year firstname.lastname@example.org
Book of Remembrance
Parents whose baby has died may have their baby’s details recorded in the book of remembrance, which is kept in the hospital mortuary chapel. Please complete the relevant section in the bereavement information booklet for parents whose baby has died. You can make arrangements to see the book of remembrance by contacting the hospital chaplain.
Links to booklets:
Bereavement support midwife – 01 817 1700 bleep 777
Chaplain – 01 817 1700 bleep 334
Bereavement social worker – 01 817 1722
Additional support is available from:
Please follow the links below to access further information on the services provided by these organisations and to view their information booklets.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Ireland – www.pregnancyandinfantloss.ie
Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland – www.ectopicireland.ie
Miscarriage Association of Ireland – www.miscarriage.ie
A Little Lifetime Foundation – www.alittlelifetime.ie
Anam Cara – www.anamcara.ie
Féileacáin – www.feileacain.ie
The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network – www.childhoodbereavement.ie/
Leanbh Mo Chroí – www.lmcsupport.ie/