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Mother who discovered daughter had died on her due date backs bid for hospital bereavement suite

PUBLISHED: 19:00 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:09 25 November 2018

Abbie Gooch. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Abbie Gooch. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A mother who discovered on her due date that her daughter had died has thrown her weight behind a campaign to raise money for a bereavement suite at the region’s busiest hospital.

Luna-Mai Lewis who was stillborn on February 1, 2015. Picture: SuppliedLuna-Mai Lewis who was stillborn on February 1, 2015. Picture: Supplied

Abbie Gooch, 28 and from Poringland spoke of the heartbreak she suffered when she realised her daughter, Luna-Mai Lewis, was not moving as much in the womb on February 1, 2015.

Ms Gooch said: “It was on my due date that I felt reduced movements from my baby. I went to the hospital where I was given a scan and given the news no parent wants to hear, my baby had died.”

But Ms Gooch still had to deliver Luna-Mai, and the lack of a dedicated bereavement suite at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) made already traumatising circumstances worse.

She said: “When I delivered Luna-Mai I was in the room at the end of delivery suite, which was the bereavement room that they had then, it was very clinical. It was so difficult having to walk past all the normal delivery rooms to one at the end of the corridor knowing there were woman in labour with their babies.

“When I was in the late stages of labour with Luna-Mai I heard a new born baby cry and it was just an added heartache to what I was already enduring.”

Planning is under way for a suite but now baby loss charity Time Norfolk has launched a £10,000 fundraising bid to bring the service to fruition as quickly as possible..

Lesley Bradfield, the charity’s director, said: “Nowadays many parents wish to stay with their baby for some time using cuddle cots which cool the baby, and allow other members of the family to meet the baby. This facility is required on average for 48 to 72 hours per family and unfortunately is used frequently.

“As you can imagine parents who have suffered this devastating loss currently have to deliver their baby and have family visit them in a noisy, active delivery suite – having to hear other live babies cry.

“A room which has a separate entrance, avoiding the main delivery suite entrance, which allows partners and family members to stay in a dignified setting would make things more bearable at what is the most devastating time for them.”

To find out more, or to donate, click here.

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